Kara Bolino serves as the Executive Director of Heritage Point in Oklahoma City.

by Bobby Anderson, Staff Writer

With a lifetime in resident care Kara Bolino knows that no matter what, people always come first.
That’s why the Executive Director at Heritage Point of Oklahoma City is so proud her memory impairment community serves as a resource for families 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year.
Most recently, Heritage Point has created a response team that allows for families to move residents in 24 hours a day if a crisis arises.
“We’re really good at making things happen if they need to,” Bolino said. “Any type of emergency situation we’re able to pull together and help families out. We have a nurse who is really flexible and more than willing to go and do an immediate assessment.”
“We can be here in the evening or at night for them. It’s important to be flexible. If we’re only here 9 to 5 how does that help anybody in a crisis?”
The ability to respond to patients’ changing needs – whether they be emergent or day-to-day – has always been the philosophy from President and Owner Kip Pammenter and Vice President of Operations David Thompson.
Pammenter created the original Heritage Point community in Overland Park, Kansas years ago, changing the way memory care was delivered and benchmarked.
Heritage Point was designed after that Overland Park community and is a sister residence to Heritage Point Tulsa.
When Pammenter talks about residents he uses their first names.
The president of a company that specializes in Alzheimer’s and memory care knows that’s the only way you can truly make a difference in someone’s life. Getting to know each and every client and meeting them where they are, is the hallmark of Pammenter’s successful approach to person-centered care.
Dealing with the effects of Alzheimer’s disease and trying to understand available care options can be extremely challenging for families. That’s why Pammenter designed Heritage Point to work with families to envision a better way to live with Alzheimer’s disease and other dementia related impairments.
Pammenter wants to truly reinvent Alzheimer’s care and what life should be like for seniors with cognitive challenges. The focus is on each individual resident; knowing who they are and what they love to do…and then finding activities that have meaning and purpose.
Heritage Point offers a smaller, home environment that promotes dignity, respect and love. A dedicated team of experienced and caring staff understands the importance of developing close personal relationships with residents and becomes an extended part of your family.
The philosophy is that everything starts with the idea that every individual is a whole person – regardless of their level of dementia – with many different backgrounds, abilities, interests, beliefs, preferences, and needs.
“Every day is different to be honest and I think that’s a good thing,” Bolino said. “All of our residents function different daily. Every day is something new. The residents dictate the day and that’s a big thing we focus on. We want everyone to be their own individual self and do what they normally do and us work around them.”
The belief at Heritage Point is that each resident deserves to be understood and should be encouraged to be involved, to whatever extent possible, in participating in their care.
There’s a value and respect for residents’ innate right to have choices everyday and strive to provide opportunities for life activities that not only have meaning and purpose, but also promote independence and choice.
To that end, each home has a homemaker that is dedicated to creating an atmosphere that encourages and inspires resident participation in dynamic activities program.
A key part of taking a person-centered approach to care is embracing an interactive process that focuses on building personal relationships between each resident, their family, medical professionals, and care staff.
The goal is to create a collaborative partnership among everyone involved that ultimately enhances each resident’s daily life experiences.
In each home, everything is guided first by the question, “What is the right thing to do for the resident?”
That begins with a comprehensive sit-down meeting with families and Heritage Point managers and caregivers.
From dietary to housekeeping to nursing each member sits down with families ready to ask and answer any and all questions to make sure residents feel at home.
“It’s critical,” Bolino said. “I think the families need to be able to come to you with whatever. Our entire management team sits down with families and tries to get to know residents on a personal level and their family so we can provide the care we’re talking about.”