BeeHive Homes Allows Seniors to “Age in Place”

Story by Kolby Kickingwoman, for Montana 55

Montanans entering their golden years occasionally are faced with the difficult decision of whether or not to move into an assisted living or nursing home.

Assisted living homes have become increasingly popular for out-of-home care for seniors, and BeeHive Homes is a national franchise bringing a slightly different model to the scene.

BeeHive Homes has locations in 10 different Montana cities and Jeff Humphrey, along with his wife, bought the franchise’s assisted living home in Helena last October. He said the quality of assisted living homes starts with the owners.

“My wife and I are very passionate about seniors, we love them,” Humphrey, who has worked 17 years as a physical therapist, said. “We feel that at this time of their life when they can’t live at home anymore or families in a situation where they can’t take care of them adequately, they deserve
the best. They contributed to society for years.”

Humphrey said that he and his wife make it a point to get to know all the residents by name and are in constant contact with their families and their staff.

BeeHive Homes in Helena has a capacity of 60 people and is unique in that there are six different cottages housing residents, rather than one large building. The largest cottage has 14 residents, each with their own bathroom, and common areas that give it a more home-like feel.

One of the biggest differences between assisted living homes and nursing homes is the level of independence a resident has. Individuals at nursing homes often times need more medical care and assistance in activities of daily living. Maintaining these seniors’ independence is important – and little things like cooking go a long way.

“We cook for them but they’re welcome to come into the kitchen,” Humphrey said. “They get three meals a day prepared by a dietitian so that they get all the nutrients required but they’re not limited to just those three meals, they can request food at any time.”

BeeHive Homes has a multitude of activities for residents to engage in, offer memory and respite care; as well as hospice and physical therapy. Humphrey said the quality of the care they offer is what really sets them apart.

“We’re not in it for the money,” Humphrey said. “We’re in it to take care of them and it shows with the way we feed them, the quality of food, the activities and just the quality of care they receive from our employees.”

The thing Humphrey loves most about BeeHive Homes is that it allows residents to “age in place.” He said some assisted living facilities will try and move someone to a nursing home once they start requiring more assistance but that’s something he doesn’t want to do.

“We really don’t want them to go to a nursing home,” Humphrey said. “We’ve noticed they kind of decline in their overall status once they go to a nursing home.”

According to Humphrey, BeeHive Homes in Helena has sent one person to a nursing home in the past eight years, and that was under the previous owners.

In order to take care of increasing demands, there is a rent scale that may increase the price slightly to stay, but it ensures the individual does not have to deal with moving.

“Once they require a lot of attention and a lot of care, they won’t be kept in their facilities,” Humphrey said.

“Whereas if they come here, there’s usually not another move they have to contend with and deal with. They can age in place and stay here.”

No comments yet.

Add a comment