OMAK – A nurse with a passion for helping older adults thrive, and not just survive, has realized a longtime dream of opening a second Adult Family Home, Welcome Home Lodge, with plans in the makings for a third.
Kellie Davies RN and Dr. Stephen White (Orthopedic surgeon), owners, have three children; Presley, 8, Piper, 5, and Huck, 10 months.
The beautiful 11,000 sq. ft. stunning lodge has serene landscapes, including a berry garden, man-made stream, flower beds, a large grassy area and several varieties of visiting wildlife. The property sits above Omak, a two-minute drive, and is surrounded by a pear orchard. The home features eight large bedrooms, each with their own half bath. There is a shared roll in shower room, wheelchair ramp entrance, a large living area with stand-assist furniture, traditional dining room, freshwater fish tank, porches and large windows perfect for viewing the changing colors of every season.
Davies started her nursing career as a Charge Nurse at a Skilled Nursing Facility in Texas and then spent five years as an oncology nurse before moving to Washington in 2017.
In 2019, she was given the opportunity to take over ownership of the Adult Family Home and worked as the RN Delegator at Welcome Home Villa.
“What I love about Adult family homes is the home-like environment it provides, creating a sense of comfort and ease transitioning into needing more assistance. We offer a more personalized and individualized approach to care compared to larger assisted living facilities,” said Davies.
Davies said, “The smaller home fosters a sense of community and companionship. This can help combat feelings of loneliness and isolation that older adults may experience. Residents develop trusting relationships with their caregivers who become familiar with their preferences, routines and medical needs. We have more consistent staff than larger facilities and with the smaller number of residents that allows caregivers to closely monitor their wellbeing and address any concerns promptly,” said Davies.
A recent graduate of WSU with a major in Social Science and a minor in Gerontology, Savannah Knowlton, Resident Manager, started working at Welcome Home Villa as a night shift caregiver and “soon fell in love” with the Adult Family Home model of senior living.
“I intended to work every other weekend as I completed my degree, but quickly accepted a full-time position and got to work on becoming qualified to be a Resident Manager. To further my education in this field I minored in gerontology and graduated May 2023 with a degree in Social Science. I am looking forward to serving the residents at both homes when I return from maternity leave in October,” said Knowlton.
Knowlton lives in Tonasket with her husband, Austin and their two daughters.
“The reason I fell in love with the Adult Family Home model of senior living is the quality of care the caregivers are able to provide. Several years ago I worked as a CNA in a Skilled Nursing Facility and it was rare that I felt content at the end of my shift because there was always more I wanted to be able to do, but never had the time for,” said Knowlton.
Knowlton said the staff-to-resident ratio at Welcome Home Lodge is 1-to-6.
“We are able to provide greater quality of care, but also quantity of care when needed. The residents that we serve feel like extended family members. We offer three delicious meals a day plus dessert and snacks. Our menu is seasonally planned and tailored to our Residents’ preferences. Our schedule includes a morning exercise and an afternoon activity. Both houses are specialized in Dementia and Mental Health. We provide full incontinence support, medication management, and have 24 hour awake staff,” said Knowlton.
Though not the first facility of its kind in Okanogan County, Welcome Home Lodge plans to offer a focus on compassionate care and continually strives to make improvements in the quality of life each resident experiences.
“Our team is passionate about the care we provide, all members go through additional and ongoing training to work at the Adult Family Homes. Our caregivers are trained for specific needs of the aging population as well as all being dementia and mental health certified,” said Knowlton.
Knowlton said having a great team is on the top of the list when providing top notch care for residents.
“We find great people to be on our team. Then we train them in what is required to work at an Adult Family Home and from there do not send team members solo until they have experience with each of our resident’s and know their daily needs and preferences. Then we provide ongoing training and hold our employees accountable,” said Knowlton.
In a 2018 AARP survey, 76 percent of those ages 50 and older said they preferred to remain in their current residence as they age and suggested seniors are looking for other options for their golden years.
“Our facilities are actually residential homes that have been renovated to meet Adult Family Home building codes. Our homes are furnished similar to what you would expect in a home and our Residents are encouraged to bring their personal belongings and personalize their rooms. I saw a need in the Okanogan valley, all rooms are private with ½ bath providing greater privacy and autonomy. Our meals are home cooked and include indulgent comfort foods, local produce when available, and accommodate special diets while focusing on providing a nutritious and delicious variety,” said Davies.
With predictions of enormous growth in the industry by 2030, and 21 percent of the American population predicted to be at the retirement age, Davies said she believes her business will be ready to grow with the growing need for care.
This is the second Adult Family Home opened by Davies and already has the name picked out for her future third Adult Family Home.
“There are also plans to renovate and Welcome Home Villa to have a capacity of eight residents and the second home is already licensed for eight, but there are additional requirements we have to meet and one of those is operating for two years,” said Knowlton.
When looking for live-in housing and care options for one’s self or another person there are many different things to consider and explore prior to making a decision.
“We would like to encourage you to be ready, visit our homes and meet our staff. Even if you are not ready to move, join our waitlist if Senior Living is in your near future,” said Davies.
Davies invites the public to schedule a tour or call and ask questions. For further information visit www.welcomehomeseniorliving.com