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NEW GERIATRIC CARE CENTER MARKS MILESTONE IN ELDER-CARE INDUSTRY; DEDICATION FEB. 28 AT MIAMI JEWISH HOME & HOSPITAL FOR THE AGED

 MIAMI, Feb. 22 /PRNewswire/ -- The opening of the 106,000 sq. ft. Harold and Patricia Toppel Center for Life Enhancement will mark a milestone in the elder-care industry. It will place yet another of the world's premiere skilled geriatric nursing facilities in what is already the largest not-for-profit center of its kind the Southeastern United States, the Miami Jewish Home and Hospital for the Aged at Douglas Gardens. The magnificent new structure will be dedicated on Sunday, Feb. 28, at 11:30 a.m.
 Each 28-bed unit of the 174 bed structure is designed as a "village", to promote a feeling of community for the elderly who will call it home. Wood floors and carefully selected lighting perceptually create a deinstitutionalized, hotel-like environment. Semi-private and private rooms, accentuated with pine and mahogany, reflect the newest concepts in Americans With Disabilities (ADA) compliance for the elder age group.
 Unique to South Florida, the Harold and Patricia Toppel Center for Life Enhancement will provide 20 "Gold Coast Suites." These special suites will permit the discerning geriatric client to enjoy luxurious surroundings and amenities reminiscent of a fine hotel. Each Gold Coast Suite will offer a private parlor, in which warm, home-like accents, such as a custom designed armoire, which will contain an entertainment center complete with television/VCR and sound system. "In most long term care facilities, if a resident wants to entertain family or friends in their rooms they must do so literally in their bedrooms. Each Gold Coast Suite is furnished with a bistro table in the parlor so that residents may enjoy meals and entertain in a home-like environment," said Chairman of the Board and Honorary President Irving Cypen.
 "In addition to nursing and other support staff, each of the two Gold Coast units will be assigned a private concierge, who will cater to the individual needs of these special clients," said Judge Cypen. "An early morning pastry and coffee cart with newspapers, afternoon high tea, a special menu, and a variety of special activities and other service components will make these Suites unique. They will present a new lifestyle option for older adults who have grown too frail to remain independent in their own homes, yet are desirous of maintaining their same standards of living," he added.
 Significantly, Judge Cypen added that the main mission of the Miami Jewish Home and Hospital for the Aged, over its 48-year history, has been to provide quality care to older persons, regardless of race, creed or their abilities to pay for services. "The Gold Coast Suites are very special and have their niche in today's market," he said. "However, we take pride in knowing that those elderly persons who do not have the financial means to pay for geriatric care do not have to worry about having their needs met. Approximately 72 percent of those whom we serve at the Home are indigent."
 The entire building will incorporate nuances that have been years in research by professionals in the field of aging. "The design of the Harold and Patricia Toppel Center for Life Enhancement has been an evolutionary process," said Executive Director Marc Lichtman. "Our project team spoke with a diverse group of people in determining what elements would go into the final product. These included focus groups of nursing home residents, professionals on our staff, ranging from dieticians to nurses, physicians, and staff of the Stein Gerontological Institute, a division of the Miami Jewish Home and Hospital for the Aged. Rehabilitation engineers, psychologists, lighting specialists, and elder-care professionals were also consulted, in coordination with our specially selected gerontological architects, Barbara Geddis and John Brice of the Geddis Partnership of Stamford, Conn.
 "Some of the features that are seemingly ordinary actually happen to be the most important elements to the clients who will use the facility," continued Lichtman. "For example, resident rooms are designed unlike the typical health care institution in that they are elongated rather than deep, which enables every resident to have the pleasure of a private window to the outside tropical gardens. A dividing floor-to-ceiling wall between beds creates the perception of a private room within a semi-private room, and adds a third wall for resident to furnish with photo frames and personal effects from home. A mini bar, refrigerator and shelving is designed for each resident, built-in to the wall so it doesn't obstruct mobility."
 "The most unusual design and operational feature of the Harold and Patricia Toppel Center for Life Enhancement will never be seen by the elderly, but is foremost in importance to professional health care workers who are charged with caring for the residents," added architect Barbara Geddis. "The building is a skilled nursing facility, however, it can have numerous sizes of specialized care settings. These range from 10-resident Gold Coast Units, both 18- and 28-bed nursing units, a 32-bed specialty geriatric hospital, and a large inpatient short term rehabilitation center. The entire second floor is designed so that it can be subdivided into very different groupings if the needs of the marketplace were to change over a period of time. This design makes flexibility a living word."
 As nursing staff work to meet the needs of the special population of frail elderly that will occupy the building, a computerized nurse call system enables flexibility to make this possible. Each nursing station may be expanded or contracted if unique situations arise that make this necessary in order to care for the residents.
 In addition to an architectural design that meets the latest ADA requirements, the entire building is equipped with energy efficient systems that are linked to a central power plant on the Home's 22-acre campus. "Features such as this," added Lichtman, "are just as important to the overall functioning of the building as are the tiled-in 'area rug' designs that have all the warmth of home, but no loose edges on which a walker or cane may be caught."
 Most significant to the overall design, the interior and exterior of the Center are integrated to provide individuality for the residents and a home-like, deinstitutionalized setting. Geddis feels that other long term care institutions may duplicate the research that has gone into this building to meet their own unique needs. Her advice is to "Plan early and work to spend wisely, with the quality of life of the resident in mind. Country pine or old world cherrywood headboards are not expensive if you get a headboard template from the health care bed maker, and negotiate for a quantity of headboards from a local wood crafter or furniture maker."
 Other innovative elements of the Harold and Patricia Toppel Center for Life Enhancement are in its rehabilitation focus. The state-of-the- art, 6,500-square-foot Cypen Therapy Pavilion will offer a whirlpool room, ultrasound room, therapy room, gymnasium, occupational therapy areas, and offices for therapists. The vast expanse of thermal glass surrounding the entire area will overlook the Harry and Ann Korman Rehabilitation Courtyard, an outdoor multitiered rehabilitation garden which will be accessible to even the frailest of elderly persons.
 The Harry and Ann Korman Rehabilitation Courtyard will be home to an original sculpture by internationally renowned Israeli artist Yaacov Heller. The lush tropical garden features three separate paths, ranging from easy to moderate and difficult, that gently slope down to a center "finishing" point. The garden will help residents and physical therapy patients to learn to walk and move about at different levels, a real- life necessity given that people invariably face steps and slopes in the everyday world. A signage system will explain the course to the elderly, and direct patients with wheelchairs, walkers and canes to separate paths. In short, the area offers a par course in a confined area to compensate for the special needs of a frail, geriatric population.
 Additionally, the Center will incorporate the 32-bed, fully accredited Sidney and Miriam Olson Hospital, the only specialty geriatric hospital of its kind in the state. The Olson Hospital offers residents less disruption in their lives, a continuum of care and a less institutionalized setting if the need arises for hospitalization.
 Made possible because of a $1 million gift from Boca Raton residents Harold and Patricia Toppel, as well as philanthropic support from the community, the building will set a new standard for homes for the aging throughout the nation. "We look forward to opening the building on the 28th, so people may come view for themselves the unique design elements that interact to make this building a truly special home for the elderly," said Judge Cypen.
 Architects for the project are Barbara Geddis and John Brice of the Geddis Partnership of Stamford, Conn. Turner Construction of Coral Gables is the general contractor; Judi Male the interior designer; Lagomasino, Vital and Associates are electrical/mechanical engineers; Cantor, Seinuk, Puig Associates are structural engineers; and Steve Hall of Hall Graphics the signage designer for the project.
 For information about the dedication ceremony, contact the office of special events at 305-751-8626, ext. 195.
 -0- 2/22/93
 /NOTE TO EDITOR: Photo available by express mail or courier.
 CONTACT: Deborah Goodrich of Miami Jewish Home & Hospital for the Aged at Douglas Gardens, 305-751-8626, ext. 175, or home, 305-538-4744/


CO: Miami Jewish Home & Hospital for the Aged at Douglas Gardens ST: Florida IN: HEA SU:

JB-AW -- FL002 -- 8839 02/22/93 09:29 EST
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