John James Marshall, special to the Press-Tribune
Bossier City’s newest retirement facility officially opened its doors for the first time last week.
The Blake at Bossier City welcomed its first resident July 24 to the resort-style senior living community. Marketing director for The Blake, Caroline Barry, likened the opening to students moving into their dorms for the first time in college.
“We had residents moving in Monday through Saturday last week,” Barry said. “Fifteen apartments were occupied by the end of the week, so it’s been a whirlwind up here.”
The facility is more akin to a resort than what you would consider a typical senior living community. As you enter the foyer you are immediately struck by the vast open space, flood of natural light, and carefully planned layout.
Besides luxury accommodations inside the apartments, residents are treated to elegant dining options, concierge service, 24-hour nurse staffing, and an active social program.
Jan Hutchinson is the social director for The Blake. She has developed an extensive social calendar for the residents that she based off of her time spent traveling abroad.
“August happens to be our India month,” Hutchinson said. “We celebrate a different country every month. We’re going to incorporate the country and culture into our food and social program. Apart from that we have lecturers come in and speak as well.”
This retirement mecca encourages families to attend, and does so by providing a top-quality restaurant, piano bar, and coffee shop. In addition, one tour around the facility could find you playing putt-putt on their mini-golf course outside or in a theater-style chair watching a movie.
Barry said the apartments themselves are the most important aspect of the entire operation.
“We have motion sensors, help buttons, everything thought to assist the residents,” Barry said. “The motion sensors will alert a nurse if something is going on. They have a pendant and a watch they can use to call for help anywhere in the building.”
Beyond safety, residents have already begun turning their new apartments into home. Marie Bassett became the first official resident of The Blake on Monday. Her and her daughter, Deborah Dillingham, have been moving and rearranging the apartment to get it just right.
“It’s gorgeous, it’s beautiful,” Bassett said, sitting in her new chair perched against a large window that opens into a field. “Last night we saw two little deer right outside this window.”
Dillingham said that in addition to location, The Blake seemed like a great fit for their family.
“It’s close to her primary care physician, but also when she lived independently, she lived in Green Acres.” Dillingham said. “This is her stomping ground.”
Bassett says that her apartment doesn’t quite feel like home yet, but she is getting there.
“It doesn’t feel like home it feels like a nice hotel now,” Bassett said. “I’m just ecstatic about having everything so pretty, everyone being so helpful. [The staff] just want to help you with everything. They are a wonderful group.
“If I think about the little party they had for me when I arrived, it makes me want to cry a little bit,” Bassett said. “It was gorgeous, they had all these balloons for me and wonderful pictures. It was such a nice welcome.”
The Blake anticipates creating 80-100 full and part-time jobs Quality Senior Living (QSL) is the developer and Arrive Architecture Group based in Dallas, Texas is providing the architectural design. EBM Group is the General Contractor.