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Artis Senior Living of South Hills Follows Unique Care Philosophy
By Vanessa Orr

When a loved one begins showing signs of dementia, one of the biggest challenges that a family faces is finding a safe, secure place for that person to live—somewhere that not only takes into account their medical condition, but provides a warm, caring atmosphere where they can feel at home.

Artis Senior Living of South Hills, which will be opening a new community in Bethel Park this winter, strives to make sure that its residents and their families have a say in how they live. Instead of a one-size-fits-all philosophy, the experience is tailored specifically to each person in order to ensure independence, dignity and quality of life.
"We work with our residents where they are," explained Director of Marketing Megan Miske of the community's emphasis on embracing what makes each resident unique. "For example, when the staff at one of our communities learned that a resident loved gardening, they created an activity working with a local gardening club."

At each community, the Director of Partnership Development and the Director of Health and Wellness work together with the family and their loved one to compile an eight-page partnership profile detailing that person's likes, dislikes, hobbies and more. The goal of the plan is to allow the resident to have as much independence as possible, from deciding what time to get up to what they want to eat for dinner.

"We follow what we call 'The Artis Way,'" said Miske, explaining that each letter of the word Artis stands for a tenet of the organization. "A is the ability to have a voice—we want residents and their families to engage in open communication with our staff to make sure that what we're doing is the right fit for them; this goes for our employees and management, too.

"R is about respecting and maintaining relationships; we're like family here because we're so in tune with our residents' likes and dislikes," she added.

The letter T stands for treasuring each person's uniqueness, and I is for integrity—promoting dignity and respect for those in building, including those who work with and for Artis.

"S is for success and recognition, which we promote both inside and outside the building," Miske continued, noting that the company's care partners promote the Artis philosophy as well.

While this is the first Artis community near Pittsburgh, the company does have two other communities in Pennsylvania and a number of communities along the East Coast. The Pittsburgh community will feature 72 private suites, offering single-level living within four distinct 'neighborhoods.'

"We've found that having different neighborhoods helps those with memory issues re-orient themselves and gives them a better sense of their environment," said Miske. Residents will be able to move freely among neighborhoods and can also take advantage of an outdoor area, though all areas are secured for safety.

While Artis will not officially open until early next year, staff is available now to talk with families about the community and to serve as a resource.

"There's so much to learn, especially when a loved one is in the beginning stages of Alzheimer's or dementia," said Miske. "We can help families understand the signs and symptoms, answer their questions, and tell them what to look for when choosing a memory care specific community."

For more information, visit www.artisseniorliving.com or call 412-595-8917. The community will be located at 1001 Higbee Drive in Bethel Park.

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