About Our Community
Emeritus at Pantano is ideally situated in a residential area on the desirable Northeast side of Tucson, bordering the beautiful Saguaro National Park East. Our assisted living community is also right off the Speedway next to Mesquite Valley Growers, giving residents easy access to many grocery stores, doctors offices, banks, golf courses, parks and restaurants in the area. Plus we are just minutes from two major hospitals which are Tucson Medical Center and St. Joseph’s Hospital.
With such close proximity to all that Tucson has to offer, there’s never a lack of things to do, whether it’s a trip to Fry’s or Wal-Mart, downtown Tucson for a day of shopping and lunch out, to a local museum or on one of many scenic dries to such favorite destinations as Tanque Verde Guest Ranch and Sabino Canyon. Residents just let us know where they want to go and we do everything we can to fulfill their requests.
We are also literally just a few minutes from largest Silver Sneaker Club in the area, Desert Sports & Fitness, where some of our residents are members. Our air-conditioned van makes frequent stops throughout the week to take residents and pick them up when they have finished their workouts.
A Wonderful Selection
Emeritus at Pantano is situated around two beautifully landscaped courtyards, a larger courtyard with a gazebo, putting green and walking path for our assisted living residents and a second smaller, nearly identical courtyard for our memory care residents. The inside of our community is equally lovely, having recently undergone an extreme makeover in “senior living style,” including newly painted walls, new carpeting and window coverings and new furnishings throughout our common areas.
In our assisted living community, we offer 94 senior apartments in studios, and one-bedroom, one-bedroom deluxe and two-bedroom configuration. Each offers wonderful views of either the courtyard, the desert or the nearby mountains. In addition, all apartments have spacious bathroom with walk-in no-lip showers, a kitchenette with a mini refrigerator/freezer and microwave, individual climate-controlled heat and air conditioning, extended cable television and an emergency call pendant/wristband system. This system includes a GPS so that we know exactly where the resident is should they push the button for assistance. In addition, all one-bedroom and two-bedroom apartments include large walk-in closets. And as part of our recent renovation, all of our apartments have new flooring and carpeting.
Common areas include our lovely grand dining room, a cozy living room with fireplace, a separate private dining room for intimate family gatherings, a library and activities room, a TV room and billiards lounge. In addition to our fully enclosed outdoor courtyard, we have several outdoor patio areas.
Our one-story memory care neighborhood, Pantano Gardens, offers 36 senior apartments in two configurations; a studio suite with private bath and a companion suite with two studios connected by a walk-through bathroom. All studios offer ample closet space and built-in shelving. With the same layout and courtyard as our assisted living community, transferring between communities is virtually effortless and is key for any assisted living resident who may, at some point, need the specialized services of Pantano Gardens. The community also offers virtually the same common areas except its living room does not have a fireplace.
Strong, Caring, Professional Relationships
We partner with many home health and hospice agencies which are welcome to provide services right here at our community. In fact, Emeritus at Pantano is designed specifically to accommodate physical and occupational therapy sessions with handrails throughout our community and extra wide hallways for wheelchairs, walkers and scooters. This enables therapists to work one-on-one with our residents, using our community much like an exercise room. Residents can choose any agency they’d like or we can make recommendations so it’s always up to them.
We truly live the Brookdale motto: “Our family is committed to yours.” In part, this stems from several of our employees having chosen to work in senior living communities because of their own experiences taking care of older family members. In addition, we have very low turnover and many of our caregivers have been here for nine-plus years including our Community Relations Director who has been with us since 1997.
Our warm, friendly and caring staff truly goes above and beyond for our residents. Recently, when several of our caregivers found out that a resident could no longer care for his dog and was in jeopardy of losing him, they volunteered to take over its care. When one of our resident is close to passing on, our staff spends a great deal of time with that individual, providing comfort and support to both the resident and his or her family members. For our staff, this isn’t simply a job because they feel a strong sense of connection with our residents and when they see a need, they always jump in and help.
Our Community Lifestyle
A Wonderful, Active Lifestyle
We offer a wide variety of daily activities including our popular Sit N’ Get Fit program, music, crafts and such games as Wii. Residents just started a Wii bowling tournament. Social gatherings are also very popular. Every Wednesday, we have a wine and cheese social. We have weekly ice-cream socials and offer many opportunities for families to join us for special get-togethers, whether for Easter brunch, Mother’s Day or Christmas dinner. We also have holiday feasts just for our residents and staff during which we all sit together at long tables and enjoy a wonderful meal together. This ensures that our residents who don’t have family won’t have to spend the holidays alone.
In addition, we bring in outside entertainment on a regular basis, from jazz and bluegrass bands to the Gate Keepers, a wonderful youth singing group. We even have volunteers who bring in their pets to provide “pet therapy.” Non-denominational religious services are held every Wednesday, choir practice is held Tuesday and on Sundays and outside transportation picks up our Baptist and Catholic residents and takes them to their local churches.
We are proud that we have many veterans here at Emeritus at Pantano and half of our population is men. So we’ve designed special programs for both groups; the Red Hat Society for our lady residents who have frequent lunch parties together, and the ROMEO (Retired Old Men Eating Out) Club which enjoys meals together at a local diner. And for all of our residents, we offer many outings, from shopping trips into downtown Tucson to visits to the popular exhibits in town.
Partnering with the Local Neighborhood Community
Every Tuesday night, we sponsor a health and wellness lecture, conducted by a well-known author and physician. From tips on how to handle stress to the importance of vitamin C, it is a huge draw in the local area with as many as 80 people from the Tucson community joining our residents for informative and engaging weekly discussions.
We are also actively involved with our local Alzheimer’s Association. Last fall, we had a parking lot sale with all of the proceeds benefiting the organization. And each year, our staff participates in the annual Walk to End Alzheimer’s. Our community also recently saved a small non-profit thrift shop in town from going out of business. As a result of our recent renovation, we donated 60 percent of our furnishings and artwork to the store and that has created an excellent revenue source for them. The remaining 40 percent was sold at a silent auction with the proceeds benefitting the Alzheimer’s Association.
We have three scheduled meals a day served restaurant style with two entrée choices available at lunch and dinner. But just like home, our dining services never close. If a resident is late for a meal or wants something other than one of our entrées, sandwiches, soups and salads are always available. Even if a resident wakes up hungry in the middle of the night, we have dedicated refrigerators that our caregivers can access to make him or her a snack.
And all of our meals are made from scratch and we have nothing frozen or pre-packaged at Emeritus at Pantano. If we have leftovers, our chef will prepare a delicious soup. It’s not surprising that many residents describe our food as “delicious”, “scrumptious”, “fabulous” and often jokingly complain that they are gaining too much weight. We can also accommodate most special dietary needs including residents requiring a mechanical soft and pureed diet.
The residents of Pantano Gardens eat from the same menu and their meals are brought to their own dining room. In addition to three meals a day, we provide three scheduled snacks a day to ensure proper nutrition. This is especially critical for residents with memory impairments as their sensation of hunger is often diminished. Snacks are typically served as part of an activity, for example, making smores or “ants on a log.”