This month, KMH (formerly Kansas Masonic Home) entered its 120th year of serving Wichita-area seniors and their families. With this rich and long-standing history, many organizations may find it easier to maintain status quo- to keep doing things the way they’ve always been done. KMH sees senior living and senior care from a different perspective, understanding the importance of remaining appealing to today’s seniors and their families- while ensuring the community remains a financially-viable and market-appropriate option in the long-term. KMH also sees the opportunity for constant improvement in how and where services and care are being delivered to residents. With this perspective, KMH has completed a tremendous, multi-million-dollar expansion and renovation. The transformation includes campus-wide renovations, expansions in care levels, and the implementation of cutting-edge medical and wellness programs (including BBET). The transformation also incorporates “culture-change” with the addition of Households for Assisted Living, Assisted Living Memory Care, Skilled Nursing Rehabilitation, Long-term Care, and Long-term Memory Care.
“Culture change” in senior living and care is a shift in thinking amongst team members, empowering them to prioritize residents’ wants and needs first and foremost. Studies have indicated that seniors live longer, happier, more fulfilled lives when living in communities that put them first- engaging them in decisions and making them the center of their own lives. Naturally, KMH knew culture change was the right direction. This shift in the organization’s culture is one that impacts every employee within the organization. It takes planning and significant investment in training, re-enforcement, and re-training, and takes years to fully implement, especially since many team members at KMH are very long-standing. This “shift” required deep internal system changes in decision making processes, the decentralization of household teams, cross training staff members- all with the mission to put KMH’s residents in control of their own lives to better meet their needs and desires.
Culture change was where it began for KMH, but not where it ended. The leadership team determined that- to truly accomplish culture change, and to maintain a viable community for the long-term, KMH needed to make a physical plant shift, too. KMH’s recently-completed construction project includes the complete renovation of the Assisted Living Towers building, which offers Wichita seniors and their families some of the largest traditional Assisted Living residences available. These large two-bedroom, two-bathroom Assisted Living residences are a milestone change at KMH because it allows couples to move into Assisted Living together- whether one or both need care. In addition, KMH successfully built “houses within a building”- an incredible undertaking that took years of planning. KMH utilized a true Household Model design and architecture. The Households each have a front porch complete with front door and doorbell, access to exterior spaces, large living areas. The households have private, spacious bedrooms with full baths for each resident and a core “great room.” KMH took the Household model beyond the basics to be innovative with the unique implementation individual and very distinctive design, décor, furnishings, and feel for each household. KMH’s combination of person-centered care along with the incredible campus transformation has made it one of Wichita’s leading senior living and senior care providers.