D.C. Housing Notes – April 2021
Affordable/luxury assisted living opens in D.C.
This month, Livingston Place at Southern, a 152-unit luxury assisted living community, will open in D.C.’s Ward 8, offering housing for residents 60 and older who require assistance with daily living activities and have low to moderate incomes.
Gina Latture, Livingston Place’s director of sales and marketing, grew up in Ward 8 and is excited to help provide an opportunity for its older residents to live in a high-quality facility.
“It’s very rewarding to serve the community from which I’ve come,” Latture said. “It feels like I’ve come full circle in my career to help seniors in Ward 8 access luxury assisted living. This kind of housing is much needed and deserved in this community.”
Livingston Place’s five-story building includes 68 one-bedroom and 84 efficiency apartments with bathrooms and kitchenettes. The units have accessibility features, like grab bars in the bathrooms, lower countertops and emergency call systems.
The community provides an opportunity for seniors to age in place affordably with access to onsite support, including medical, dental, rehabilitative and counseling services, plus three prepared meals each day, laundry and housekeeping services, and activities that keep residents engaged. Amenities include an onsite fitness center, library and barber shop/beauty salon.
“Assisted living facilities are like cruise ships,” Latture said. “There is always something going on, including fun activities, educational programs, entertainment and day trips.”
Unlike a cruise ship, however, Livingston Place staff will also assist with daily living tasks and meet residents’ medical needs.
In order to qualify to live in Livingston Place, D.C. residents must have incomes that are 60% of the annual median income or less; qualify for Medicaid; require assistance with at least two activities of daily living, and have an Elderly and Persons with Disabilities Waiver (EDP), managed through the D.C. Department of Aging and Community Living. (The EDP Medicaid waiver pays for the benefits and services residents receive at Livingston Place.)
Another program, the Federal Low Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC), reduces the cost of rent. In addition, the Optional State Supplemental Program helps subsidize the difference between what someone earns from Social Security and the cost of the rental.
“We’re excited to have figured out a way to supplement low-income residents,” Latture said. “We’re able to provide residents with benefits they normally wouldn’t be offered.”
Livingston Place is the first Priority Life Plan Community in D.C. They operate another facility in Hyattsville, Maryland.
Early dementia program comes to Tribute locations
The Cadence Living communities in the D.C. area — Tribute at One Loudon, Tribute at The Glen, Tribute at Black Hill and Tribute at Melford — have introduced a new program called Cadence Connections to support residents with a low-impairment dementia diagnosis.
“Cadence Connections offers help for residents when they first become aware of difficulty recalling and retaining memories,” said Holly McMurray, vice president of culture and resident experience for Cadence Living. “The program is designed to mitigate symptoms, allowing residents to stay active and involved longer in their preferred environment.”
When creating Cadence Connections, Cadence Living adopted BrainCheck, a CMS-recognized cognitive assessment tool developed from 20 years of research by Baylor University.
Each day, staff use this quick test to assess memory, attention and executive function. Test questions change each day, providing a more nuanced look at cognitive functioning.
Using data from assessments, the program director develops individually tailored engagement plans to help participants stay as engaged as possible in their communities and to slow cognitive decline.
One type of group program is the Cadence drumming circle, which allows participants to create and then play their own drums. The drumming circle fosters creativity and taps into the benefits of music for those with cognitive impairment, including improvements in mood and executive function.
Cadence Connections focuses on several facets of the participants’ lives, including sleep, diet and exercise, all of which play a role in mitigating cognitive impairment. “The program helps participants feel like they can have control over these parts of their lives,” McMurray said.
It also incorporates activities that foster supported autonomy and brain stimulation, while addressing isolation and other lifestyle factors that can worsen dementia.
The program is available at Cadence Living communities for $1,000 a month. That cost includes assessments, access to a dedicated team member and customized engagement plans.