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Senior living center earns top honors

By: Art Garcia, Telegraph Correspondent
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Residents of El Dorado Hills Senior Care Village live in a campus-like assisted living environment focused on personal attention and featuring six individual houses in a cul-de-sac that are interconnected by walkways and lawns. The six-room homes with private living quarters and baths were designed and built specifically for the elderly with special needs, including those requiring memory care and with dementia and various levels of Alzheimer’s disease. Individual rooms in the houses are about 10 feet by 15 feet. Each house has common areas with living, dining, family and laundry rooms. Meals are served three times daily at each house. “The idea is to have the house simulate the individual’s personal residence they lived in and are familiar with, instead of the institution-like feeling of a big building, a hospital or an apartment building,” said Dr. Benjamin Foulk, Village manager and co-owner with his wife Gina, the facility’s administrator. “We try to simulate their home living styles,” said Dr. Foulk, who practiced dentistry for 35 years before he and his wife opened the village in 1996. They started with one house then each year for five years built one more. “These were all empty lots,” he said. “The thing that is unique about these facilities, unlike just about any other single-family senior care residence, is they were built specifically for this purpose.” Most other similar care centers are converted homes “whereas ours were built to handle the disabled,” he said. Each house has two caregivers providing 24-hour supervision and care. Four administrators also are assigned to the houses, as well as a caregiver who monitors prescriptions. “The coverage is probably 1.5 residents per employee,” said Dr. Foulk. Rates at the Village average about $3,385 per month, including room, board and full services. The state-licensing department requires that the minimum age be 65 to enter a care center but there are exceptions for special circumstances requiring a person to have full-time care prior to that age. Senior Care Village operates a wheel chair van with a hydraulic lift and an SUV for driving residents to doctor’s appointments, shopping, concerts and other activities. “What makes the Village unique is that it has the advantages of single-family residences, which most people are used to living in, yet it has the advantages of bigger facilities because we have socials and celebrations where everyone gets together for holidays, parties, picnics and barbecues,” Dr. Foulk said. He may return to his dental practice in the future and in the meantime maintains a dental office in the adjacent El Dorado Hills Medical and Professional Plaza at El Dorado Hills Boulevard and St. Andrews Drive. Another dentist is using the office currently. Operating and visiting hours at the Village are 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily. El Dorado Hills Senior Care Village is at 2920 Tam O’ Shanter Drive, El Dorado Hills. Phone (916) 939-0962. The web address is eldoradohillsseniorcare.com. * * * BEST SENIOR CARE Winner: El Dorado Hills Senior Care Address: 2920 Tam O’ Shanter Drive, El Dorado Hills Phone: (916) 939-0962 Online: eldoradohillsseniorcare.com