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Westminster Oaks New Memory Care Building Hosts Ribbon-Cutting and Blessing of The Building

October 13, 2021

Executive Director Shannon Sauls, at center, holds the scissors for the ceremonial ribbon-cutting. (From left) Westminster Communities of Florida CEO Terry Rogers, Westminster Oaks Resident Council President James Melton, Board Member Linda Shelley, Sauls, Board Member John Milton V, Chief Operating Officer Garry D. Hennis, and LeadingAge Florida President Steve Bahmer.

Following a ceremonial event, 32 residents will move into this innovative
new Memory Care Assisted Living residence at Tallahassee’s only Life Plan Community

Today, the new Memory Care neighborhood at Westminster Oaks hosted its ceremonial ribbon-cutting event and a “Blessing of the Building” prayer. This new neighborhood at Westminster Oaks, a Life Plan Community in Tallahassee, features 32 apartments for Assisted Living residents with Alzheimer’s and dementia with dedicated, specialized amenities and spaces to support these residents.

Westminster Oaks and Westminster Communities of Florida are delighted to welcome this newest addition to the community. “This is one of the most exciting ways in which our community has expanded, because we are doing something completely different and innovative,” said Westminster Oaks Executive Director Shannon Sauls. “It’s a very exciting time to be here at Westminster Oaks.”

The new Memory Care neighborhood is an expansion of the Life Plan Community, which serves more than 600 residents with Independent Living, Assisted Living, Memory Care, Nursing Care, Rehabilitation and more. Residents will receive Memory Care and Assisted Living services in spaces custom-designed to support their needs. They will also receive personalized resident engagement programming based on the Montessori method, and a customized dining program called Small Bites that is designed to their wants and needs.

It was designed as a set of small, secure neighborhoods with spacious private apartments, a memory garden and more. In addition, it features innovative and sustainable building features, like higher-efficiency HVAC systems, zero VOC paints and sealants, and long life-span construction materials, and was constructed to the National Green Building Standard Silver level.

Memory Care at Westminster Oaks was designed by THW Design of Atlanta and built by Cook Brothers, Inc., of Tallahassee.

“Today’s event really showcases how Westminster’s Mission is continuing to grow and to expand to serve more residents and in very different ways. Our Memory Care programs are central to that,” said Terry Rogers, Chief Executive Officer of Westminster Communities of Florida, to welcome the new residents. “On behalf of Westminster Communities of Florida’s leadership team, let me be the first to congratulate everyone. We are very much looking forward to the residents here moving in!”

Rogers noted that the construction of the Memory Care neighborhood has supported more than $9 million in investment at Westminster Oaks. “I am just so proud of that number,” he said. “We have had a lot of economic headwinds over the last couple of years, and we were still able to get it done, thanks to the support of our Board of Directors and the residents we serve.”

The Memory Care center at Westminster Oaks was designed from the beginning with the unique needs and expectations of older adults in mind. The residences were designed to incorporate views of the natural settings, and resident mental and physical health were of utmost importance in the design process.

Linda Shelley, representing Westminster Communities of Florida’s Board of Directors, said, “There aren’t any of us who don’t know someone who has needed support like this, or has a close friend, or someone we know. Until the time comes when memory care isn’t necessary, it is important to all of us that our residents and loved ones have a safe and beautiful place to be, and to enjoy their lives. Thank you, on behalf of the Board.”

The ceremonial ribbon-cutting was performed by Sauls, the Executive Director; accompanied by Rogers, the CEO; Garry D. Hennis, Chief Operating Officer; Chris Wickberg, Vice President of Design and Construction; Westminster Oaks Residents’ Council President, James Melton; Shelley and John Milton V, representing the Board of Directors; and LeadingAge Florida CEO Steve Bahmer.

Today’s ceremony also featured a “Blessing of the Building” prayer from the Rev. Taylor Phillips, the community’s chaplain, and welcoming remarks from Mr. Melton.

Residents are expected to begin moving into their new residences in the coming weeks.

The new Memory Care building at Westminster Oaks in Tallahassee, featuring 32 new apartment residences for Memory Care Assisted Living.

Chaplain Taylor Phillips leads the invocation and blessing.

Westminster Communities of Florida Chief Executive Officer Terry Rogers offers a welcome and congratulations.

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