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The new building was constructed at the corner of Boulevard and Woodward Avenue in 1904 and was named for Rhodes. Although it has since been rebuilt, A.G. Rhodes' flagship location is still at this Grant Park-area intersection and has evolved its mission to care for seniors.
Two more locations have since opened in Marietta (1992) and Wesley Woods (1997), which leases land from Emory's Wesley Woods campus. More than 1,300 seniors receive care from A.G. Rhodes each year.
"We offer skilled nursing services and short-term rehab after things like a stroke, hip or knee replacement," Newton said. Short-term residents receive rehab services for several weeks and then return home or to an assisted living facility. About 80% of A.G. Rhodes residents are there for long-term care and live at the facility.
The demand is high in Atlanta, Newton said, because Atlanta is the nation's fastest-aging community. This also means an increase in residents who have dementia, and as a result, A.G. Rhodes is working to tailor their care and better serve people living with this condition. The nursing home provider has been accepted into the Eden Alternative Registry, which means it has demonstrated that it has adopted person-directed principles and practices instead of relying on traditional approaches.
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Newton said these person-directed practices include "Sounds for Seniors," music therapy featuring a playlist on an mp3 player that's been customized for residents. Horticultural therapy is also included for residents who previously enjoyed gardening or would like to learn a new hobby, as is technology to help promote communication, memory and engagement.
The nursing home provider strives to provide a sense of community for residents, who can face, like many seniors in similar situations, loneliness, isolation and boredom.
This mission has become more difficult with the dangers of COVID-19, Newton said, and A.G. Rhodes has had to restrict non-essential visitors, including family and volunteers.
"Our communities are very vibrant and active. Right now, it's different, and it's challenging. We've had to limit so many things," she explained. "We're usually such a vibrant community. We'll get back there."
The nursing home is still trying to do innovative things, such as utilizing Skype and FaceTime, that will help residents stay in touch with loved ones during this time of increased social distancing.