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MPTF: Harry’s Haven for Memory Care

The Motion Picture & Television Fund campus in Woodland Hills has moved its memory care facility, dubbed Harry’s Haven, to the second floor of its on-site hospital. Residents are expected to be moved to the new home on Dec. 10. The 20,000-square-foot-plus space was previously used as doctors’ offices and will now serve the residents of Harry’s Haven and then some, with an additional 10 beds. “Part of the idea was to do a small home in a 20,000-square-foot floor plan,” said Bob Beitcher, chief executive of MPTF. “It’s much more homelike, wider hallways, more sunlight, and a lot more opportunities to do fun things with the residents that will keep them engaged and active.” Thirty rooms, eight being shared and 24 single rooms, two nursing stations, large rooms to shower, and activity centers make up the new Harry’s Haven. The shared rooms will house some married couples and pair likely roommates together in a 400-square-foot space. Its continuous circuit from different “neighborhoods,” designated by differing color schemes, have what Beitcher calls vignettes, or mini stations that MPTF staff hope will help residents recall memories. “It was an opportunity to really do something innovative with the environment. The old Harry’s Haven was an old institutional building, so it was built like the letter ‘E.’ You’ve got a spine and three combs that come off of it, so there’s dead ends that we just can’t do anything about,” said Linda Healy, director of palliative care and geriatric services, as well as nurse practitioner at MPTF. “In this home, it’s like being on a loop, on a track. There’s always something around the next corner to see. If you have someone that’s up and walking, they don’t hit a dead end and have to turn around and go back the way they just came,” Healy added. A fake laundry room, grocery store, train station, office space and work bench make up the vignettes at Harry’s Haven. MPTF will also house two kittens and caged birds for residents to interact with; the team actively avoided having a television in every room. For Dr. Scott Kaiser, chief innovation officer and practicing geriatrician at MPTF, Harry’s Haven is different from similar memory care homes because of low staff turnover; a focus on caregiver-resident interactions; a safe small home, neighborhood feel; and plenty of different ways to keep residents engaged and active. The team at MPTF even has a program where caregivers can experience what life is like for a resident with Alzheimer’s disease or dementia, through a virtual reality headset, Healy said. “What we’ve created here is a beautiful, warm, welcoming and engaging environment that can really facilitate those interactions,” added Kaiser. “Once we move people in here, we can partner, whether it’s with academics or outside consultants or our internal team, to make sure that we really are maximizing our opportunity to facilitate individual, interpersonal (interactions).”

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