Genwich Life Services LLC
"Successfully guiding multi generational families through life stage planning"
Homey place for elder care
Life Spire Assisted Living strives for stylish, cozy feel and more facilities
May 5, 2008 - Albuquerque Journal
By Jack King
One of Carol Lynn Herrera's aunts refused to even visit an assisted living
facility because their institutional reputation depressed her, Herrera said
But, on entering the front door of Herrera's newly built Life Spire facility at
9151 High Assets Way NW, the aunt exclaimed, "Oh, it looks like it could
be your house!"
Nothing has been spared at Life Spire
to blend the safety features required
of a place designed to care for older
adults with the comforts, even luxuries,
of life, Herrera said.
Built by Ameri Contractors, a custom-
home builder that won third place in
last year's Albuquerque Parade of
Homes, Life Spire boasts colorful,
modern Southwest-style architecture
on the outside. Inside, art deco light fixtures hang from the ceilings and a
spacious, terra cotta-tiled kitchen includes a wheelchairlevel microwave so
all residents will be able to fix themselves snacks at their own convenience.
"One visitor told us his mom complained about going to bed hungry,
because the facility where she was living didn't allow her to fix herself a
sandwich before she went to bed, which she used to do at home. Here, we
want residents to feel free to do that, with the help of staff," Herrera said.
Life Spire's assisted living facility is
licensed by the state Department of
Health to house 25 residents, but
current plans are to house only 13 to
give each resident his or her own room.
It has six private rooms, six rooms with
shared bathrooms and one suite.
Prices range from $3,500 a month, for a
room, three meals, snacks and
attendant care, to $6,000 for
round-theclock-care and one-to-one
attendant care. The facility is accepting applications.
But that's not the end of the plans Herrera, her husband, James Herrera,
and Dwayne Pino of Ameri Contractors have for the eight acres on which
Life Spire sits.
Within the next three years, they plan to add another assisted living facility
east of the current facility and an Alzheimer's care facility to the west.
Across High Assets Way to the south, they plan to build eight four-story
condominiums as independent-living residences for seniors. On the
ground floor of the condos there will be restaurants and retail
establishments. James Herrera said they already have received inquiries
from Starbucks (NASDAQ:SBUX) and an upscale hair salon.
"This is a new concept for the Albuquerque area, and we think it would
offer a number of conveniences for the residents of the independent-living
facility," Herrera said.
In addition to being licensed by the Department of Health, Life Spire has
received a three-year accreditation from the Commission on Accreditation
of Rehabilitative Facilities, an independent, nonprofit agency.