Three levels of aging care offered at The Willows at Hamburg

The Willows at Hamburg Executive Director Robert Hollins. PHOTO BY ABBY LAUB

Thanks to a newly opened health center, seniors in Kentucky have access to three different levels of care in one facility.

The Willows at Hamburg, operated by Louisville-based Trilogy Health Services, offers assisted living, skilled nursing services and memory care all in a centralized location on Old Rosebud Road near the Hamburg shopping center in Lexington. The business model is a new one for the area, said The Willows Executive Director Robert Hollins.

“The business model is geared toward offering all three levels of care, starting with assisted living,” he said. “That is pretty much our business model for most of the Trilogy homes. There are some that even offer independent living condominiums … That does pretty much follow the trend of what consumers now need and desire. They don’t like to be relocated. They don’t want to start out at independent living at one location and then move to another location.”

That edge, he said, is what will help The Willows be competitive with the race to accommodate aging baby boomers and changing health-care laws.

The Willows at Hamburg is the first of Trilogy’s locations but the sixth in Kentucky. There are 73 Trilogy locations nationwide (in Kentucky, Indiana, Ohio, Michigan and Illinois). A second Lexington campus is also in the works because the demand is there, particularly for the tri-level approach, Hollins said.

The approach doesn’t necessarily save senior citizens a lot of money, but it saves a great deal of stress and readjustment woes.

Another unique approach taken at The Willows, Hollins said, is the increased level of resident satisfaction. Fresh flowers and linen coverings don the dining room tables, and all meals are chef prepared.

“All of our meals are following a concept of restaurant-style dining,” he said. “When you do give up living independently in your home, that’s a big sacrifice, so you want to focus on things that are still important, like the quality of the food and the experience living in this new environment. We do a lot above and beyond most competitors in dining services.”

The Willows at Hamburg also allows for one family night a month, allowing family members to come dine at no additional cost to the residents.

Also, The Willows has a family call program, where each resident is assigned a management team leader who contacts family members at least monthly to find out any concerns and get feedback both ways.

Customer satisfaction surveys are done twice per year. Hollins said industry standard is once per year. He also stressed the grueling employee-selection process.

“You can come here and live — you couldn’t ask for a nicer atmosphere — but if the employees don’t give good customer service, then that defeats the purpose,” he said. “The company firmly believes that employees who come into contact with residents the most are the most important employees.”

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