Finding innovative ways for older adults to age well - The Explorer: Aging Well

Finding innovative ways for older adults to age well

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Posted: Wednesday, October 9, 2013 4:00 am

Gail Rankin does not waste any time making connections. It was only this February that she was hired as administrator of Sonora, the health center at Splendido, an all-inclusive community in Tucson for those 55 and better. In her first months on the job, Rankin has implemented some groundbreaking initiatives that keep Sonora residents connected to family, medical advisers, and the world.

For example, Sonora residents can now use loaner iPads to Skype with distant family members. “The technology has allowed residents to remain in close contact with their families even if they are not in the area--and that is what healing looks like,” says Rankin. The iPads, which were donated by a resident’s family, also allow family members in multiple locations to “sit in” on medical care team meetings. And when not being used for communication connections, the tablets are employed in programming designed to boost cognition of residents, including current events, music activities, and word games.

Rankin also introduced a popular program for residents called Ask Mayo Clinic. Splendido residents who may be unsure whether they need medical attention or who are struggling to interpret symptoms can call the Ask Mayo Clinic telephone line. They’ll speak with a Registered Nurse and receive a qualified medical consultation, or they can access online symptom assessment for medical advice, self-care tips, or even potentially lifesaving interventions.

“With Ask Mayo Clinic as a 24-hour resource, our residents can be proactive about their own health,” Rankin says. “They are able to determine their medical treatment needs independently, effectively, and at any hour of the day.”

Rankin has more than 30 years experience in long-term care management, acute care, home health, and community outreach. In addition to breaking new ground at Sonora, she manages all its day-to-day operations, including implementing quality assurance programs to ensure a high standard of care.

Rankin has deep roots in Arizona. She received her Master’s degree in administration from Northern Arizona University. She was affiliated with the Arizona Health Care Association for many years, and previously served on the board of the Assisted Living Federation of America (AFLA) in Phoenix.

To hear Rankin and her team talk at a panel event, attend the health care options seminar at Splendido on Oct. 15 at 10 a.m. Rankin and her team will be addressing the latest regulations supporting quality care and services taking effect this month for both assisted living and skilled nursing in Arizona; technology in nursing care (including iPads); our “Gentle Moments” program, and taking questions from attendees. The event will take place at Splendido, 13500 N. Rancho Vistoso Blvd., Tucson.

Splendido’s resort-style living offers a wide variety of activities and amenities for residents, including five dining venues, a 10,000-square-foot fitness center and spa with two saline swimming pools, a movie theater, an arts studio, and an 18-hole putting course. If health care needs arise, there is access to on-site health care at Sonora, a comprehensive health center which provides a range of services including short-term stays, assisted living, memory support and rehabilitation. Sonora at Splendido has been awarded the highest five-star rating by US News and World Report multiple times.

© 2014 The Explorer. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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