One thing I really like about my job is that I get to learn about all the different businesses in Muscatine and the people behind them. This week, one of my colleagues had the opportunity to sit down with the directors of Pinnacle Homes, and I was fascinated to hear about the work they do there to help people with Alzheimer’s and dementia.
Before opening Pinnacle, Barbara Stalkfleet served as director at an assisted living facility with a dementia care unit. She observed what worked for patients and what areas caregivers could improve on. In helping her husband, Wesley Stalkfleet, provide care for his parents when they developed dementia, she saw for herself the benefits of a homelike environment for people with Alzheimer’s and dementia. “After taking care of them at home, we realized that a homelike setting was the best place for them,” she said. Together, the Stalkfleets created Pinnacle Homes, extensively researching and planning to make their care homes stand out.
Pinnacle Homes looks like a residential house both inside and out. Limited to only six bedrooms each, Pinnacle creates a family like feeling and ensures that each resident gets the personal attention they need. Built to encourage social interaction, homes have an open floorplan with several social areas and a circular layout to accommodate residents who need to pace while avoiding the frustrations of getting lost or hitting a dead end.
Because proper nutrition plays a crucial role in preventing cognitive decline in people with Alzheimer’s and dementia, Pinnacle puts great care and attention into their meals. Using the latest nutritional guidance for people with Alzheimer’s or dementia, they cook meals from scratch right in the home’s kitchen, allowing the savory scents of fresh fruits, vegetables, and meats to permeate the home and stimulate residents’ appetites. Served family style with caregivers at the table, each meal provides good food and vital social time for all residents.
The COVID-19 pandemic challenges all Alzheimer’s and Dementia units to consider the safety of their residents and their needs for social interaction. Pinnacle has done their best to balance these needs by increasing cleaning, having each staff member follow enhanced personal hygiene protocols, while still allowing each resident’s power of attorney to visit them, so long as they followed certain rules and pass health screenings.
In their experience, Barbara and Wesley Stalkfleet have seen many families struggle with deciding to have a loved one come live at Pinnacle, even though early intervention offers the best way to slow the progression of Alzheimers and dementia. As they prepare to open their second home, next to the first at 3500 Diana Queen Drive, they encourage anyone with questions to reach out to them at (563)-554-3250 or visit http://pinnaclegrouphomes.com/index.html.