The Elms Blog
An Interview with Owner Guy Maiorano
The Elms adds amenities to expanded facilities
As published in the Westerly Sun by Catherine Hewitt
WESTERLY — With his new pub facility, salon and wellness center, Guy Maiorano, founder and owner of The Elms, wants to keep his residents happy and healthy in a modern, upscale way.
“We needed it — we constantly have to grow,” he said Wednesday, as he pointed out the facility’s new amenities. “I started with three residents in the front building 30 years ago and now we’re at about 130 residents on campus with 112-115 employees, so really it’s like the Hilton with health care.”
From the original 8,000 square foot Victorian house, Maiorano has expanded to over 100,000 square feet, including two buildings for residents with Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia. The facility’s 10 expansions have been a response to the needs and wants of the residents, he said.
“Over the years, we’ve never stopped renovating,” he said. “It’s all to provide more amenities for our residents.” The new pub is appointed with a large granite island and seating that is designed to give it the feel of a home kitchen. “It’s like this because if you come to my house, you’re in my kitchen and people want a little ‘kitchen feel’ to a space,” he said.
Downstairs, the wellness center has been expanded to four times its previous size. The space is used for exercise classes like aerobics, yoga, weight training, resistance bands, and stretching, as well as religious services. Residents can also watch the news on a new flat screen TV while riding recumbent bikes.
“The salon has also been upgraded and expanded to accommodate residents’ needs,” he said. “Manicures, pedicures, and hair — we’ve always had it but we just needed more space and a nicer one,” Maiorano said.
Other changes to the building include the creation of one-bedroom suites of deluxe accommodations with kitchens. “These have a walk-in closet, living room, kitchen, bathroom — about 800 square feet, which in this business is a lot of square footage,” he said. “We are the boutique operation that I want to be — we’re like the Weekapaug Inn — when you want a boutique operation that’s top-shelf, where you get all the service you expect, that’s us.”
Amenities include three meals a day, laundry and cleaning services, on-site entertainment, and bus service into town, among others.
The facility includes independent living and assisted living, and residents can transition seamlessly when the time is right.
“Independent residents — they come and go, have friends, drive a car, go on vacations, play cards, come to ‘wine o’clock’ every day,” he said. ‘When they need assistance — bathing, dressing, medication management — that’s on an a la carte menu because you’re only going to pay for what you need and it’s a fair way to do it because you’re not paying for more than you need.”
As residents age, some are also moved to the memory care units in the Carriage House and Chestnut Cottage, he said.
“Transitioning a resident to the memory care is a team process — it’s a natural progression in the aging process,” he said. “The family relies on us to do the right job, they rely on us for guidance and that’s what we offer and when it’s time.”
Each memory care facility houses about 25 residents and the staffing ratio is one of the highest in the industry, Maiorano said.
“The staffing ratio is one staff for every four residents — that’s hands-on,” he said. “Nursing homes average about 14 to 1, or 16 to 1, or maybe more, so when I tell you that we are unique, we are,” he said.
Maiorano said that as a small, independent operator, he plans to continue upgrading The Elms to accommodate the changing needs of his residents.
When you’re in business you have to keep moving forward or else you’re moving backwards,” he said.
Providing Safe, Comfortable, and Empowered Lifestyles
Enjoy the charm of Victorian architecture, spacious and relaxing community rooms and outdoor spaces, a vibrant and historic downtown and local community, and award-winning care that is always close at hand.