Above: Cody Harvey, Executive Director at Morning Pointe of Chattanooga; Greg Vital, president of Morning Pointe Senior Living; Emily Thibodeau, Community Relations Director
Shallowford Road Assisted Living Location Reopening
Now Accepting Applications for November Start
On Sunday evening, April 12, the Chattanooga area was awakened to an EF-3 tornado that swept through Hamilton and Bradley Counties. In its path was Morning Pointe of Chattanooga and The Lantern at Morning Pointe Alzheimer’s Center of Excellence, both on Shallowford Road. In a matter of minutes, the premier assisted living and memory care campuses were damaged to the point that they were uninhabitable. The brutal storms left 130 senior care residents displaced. “I never heard noise in my life like I heard that night,” said 82-year-old Rena Miller, a resident at Morning Pointe of Chattanooga. “I’m so glad that no one got hurt.”
In the dead of that night, Morning Pointe associates from across the Chattanooga area rallied together to care for the residents. Nearby hotels opened rooms to provide residents a place to stay and to be cared for. “I could not have been more proud of our staff who quickly mobilized at both locations to ensure that all of our residents were evacuated safely,” says Greg Vital, president of Morning Pointe Senior Living. “It was truly a selfless, heroic effort,” adds Cody Harvey, executive director at Morning Pointe of Chattanooga.
Now, after just five months since the catastrophic event, Morning Pointe of Chattanooga has been completely rebuilt. Interior walls have been stripped of sheetrock and the flooring removed to build back a whole new resident community. “Going through the tornado has been so difficult for the residents who call Morning Pointe of Chattanooga home,” says community relations director Emily Thibodeau. “They are so excited that the renovations are nearly complete and they get to move back in very soon!”
“This is a story of multiple teams coming together during difficult times created by COVID-19 to restore the homes and everyday lives of residents who are dearly loved at Morning Pointe of Chattanooga and The Lantern at Morning Pointe Alzheimer’s Center of Excellence,” says Vital. “Our plan is to welcome current and new residents to Morning Pointe of Chattanooga in November and The Lantern in the summer of 2021.”
At Morning Pointe of Chattanooga, residents will once again enjoy services in a comfortable home-like environment. Along with many others, amenities will include housekeeping and linen services, a barber/beauty shop, library, and Florida room.
Additional highlights of the rebuilt community will be a beautifully updated central dining area featuring chef-prepared, restaurant-style meals, including three delicious meals each day with regular alternative selections–all prepared with dietician oversight. A variety of local, farm-fresh foods will be served at most every mealtime thanks to Morning Pointe’s “Farm to Table” program.
Outside of apartments, common areas such as three covered porches, courtyards, living rooms, and dining rooms will be available for residents to safely socialize. For an enjoyable, restful stroll, walking areas are neatly arranged on the nearly 10-acre facility. “While we are wearing masks, social distancing and following strict safety protocols for our residents and associates, there is still a lot of wonderful engagement and activity happening every day from creative arts, music, window visits and drive by family nights plus regular FaceTime calls,” says Harvey.
Offering the best in assisted living care, residents will experience the benefits of individual health care plans coordinated by licensed nurses with health care providers. Additionally, licensed nurses will provide oversight of health, wellness, and medication administration, while licensed clinical staff will be available 24 hours a day.
Each suite is handicap-accessible, and transportation to doctor’s appointments is also offered, along with assistance with telemedicine. To further support individual needs and keep residents independent longer, on-site physical, occupational, and speech therapy services will be offered, while ensuring CDC guidelines are a top priority.
“The rebuilding of Morning Pointe of Chattanooga is a story about perseverance, determination, flexibility, and a commitment to care for our residents,” adds Vital. “It is about rising from the ashes to once again welcome our residents and care for each and every one of them as if they were family. This is a homecoming. We will be stronger and better than ever!”