We are calling you now to better understand your needs.
Amica Little Lake - Barrie, ON has yet not published prices.
Amica Little Lake great for Independent Living, not so much Assisted
First of all, I have to clarify that I am reviewing for the Assisted Living section of Amica Little Lake.
Your site shows a cost that is much lower than actual costs of living at Amica. For a Studio, or Bachelor Suite one will pay $6000+ per month. With any additional services such as medication dispensing or personal care, and the bill will easily run up to $7000, probably even closer to in excess of $8000/month. This is one detail that needs to be stated more accurately.
Management has changed, along with Amica being bought out twice over the last few years. This has affected how things are run, and many don’t think that it has been for the better.
The Public Relations team is great. The front desk team is simply wonderful. The Activities team are also wonderful and engaged. If there were to be any feedback to the Activities team it would be to suggest more effort be made to draw Assisted Living residents into activities, particularly those with dementia who will not think to ask to partake.
The Dining Room staff are also wonderful, kind and go above and beyond to serve those at their tables. The Housekeeping staff, for the most part, work very hard to do the best job that they can with the time that they are allotted. Cleaning throughout the public spaces of the building can be rated at a 4/5, perhaps even more at times, but the cleaning for our loved one’s suite was lacking.
Housekeeping and Dining Room/Kitchen — probably the hardest working people in the building.
Management of the nursing and personal care staff are another matter altogether. That is Amica Little Lake’s ‘weak link’. There is no accountability, staff are not well supervised or trained, they have been witnessed being dishonest at times, and usually seem to be more concerned with covering themselves than in finding solutions or in providing the best care possible for their residents. If you are going to place your loved one in the Assisted Living wing of Amica Little Lake, but your loved one has dementia and requires some assistance or prompting on a regular basis, by all means do, for the food, the pool, the activities and lovely surroundings — but do so with the hiring of your own private care. This is something that was discouraged to us, at intake time. They want one to believe that they will provide all needed. Don’t believe them. They also prefer to be the only provider. If your loved one has any medical concerns that need regular monitoring do not expect them to provide proper monitoring. It does not happen, unless you bring it to their attention, and even then it is short-lived. If you are able to constantly be monitoring and advocating then this place will work for you. If your loved one were to develop a new health problem do not expect Amica Little Lake to take note of it and take the initiative to address or follow through. It does not happen.
Amica Little Lake is a wonderful place for an elderly person to live who can still live independently but is no longer able to or wanting to be in their home. The key is ‘independence’. It is NOT the place that you want your loved one to be if they have dementia and cannot speak up for themselves. Their needs will be neglected. I’m referring to being in the Assisted Living section, with dementia. I cannot speak to the Memory Care wing, which may be much better. What about those who do not yet need to be in the Memory Care wing and yet have dementia (early to mid-stage) and need more assistance? The staff at Amica do not seem to have the experience or understanding needed to work with dementia. They claim to require their staff to undertake dementia training (a fairly recent requirement) and yet one will find upon further questioning that not all staff have done so, or it is only required of the management or those working in Memory Care. As a matter of fact, Amica Little Lake ‘talks the talk’ in many regards but does not follow through in action. I’m referring to the management, not the staff who works with the residents one-on-one. Early on it became evident that Amica Little Lake is more concerned with protecting themselves, and with ensuring that their liability is covered than they are in providing good care for those who are more vulnerable and cannot speak up or do for themselves. If a problem or concern is brought up to them, by resident or by their advocate, it is ignored. Time and again we witnessed this. As for the personal care staff who interact daily with the resident, some of them are very caring and some are very good at their job. Unfortunately there are too many who lack initiative, and the guidance and training needed to assist those with dementia. There is also quite a high turnover rate. One thing I will say regarding the personal care staff at Amica. I have never before visited a seniors’ residence where the staff are so relaxed, sauntering down the hall, sitting around in pairs or threes, laughing, chatting, sometimes drawing or on their phones.
Amica does have a variety of entertainment and activities to partake of. The food selection is better than any I have seen, and I have visited and eaten in several different homes for elderly. Unfortunately the food appears to be changing, along with the new ownership, and not for the better. In addition, their dishwasher has not been working properly for over s year, with the glassware coming out still looking dirty, and yet it has not been fixed. These dirty looking glasses, with streaks and a skim of ‘something’ on them are being served daily. Volunteers? We visited daily, for well over a year and volunteers were not evident. Shame, as they could assist in many areas.
In the end, our loved one was safe (sort of), well fed, meds given routinely and made new friends, which was also important. Amica Little Lake is the perfect place for some; not so much for others. I hope that this helps you decide whether or not it will be the right fit for your loved one.