By Ray Johnston and Mary Johnston
As residents of the Twisp area, we have been thinking about the support we and many of our neighbors may need in coming years. Hopefully that support can happen for most at home, but for some additional care may be needed.
This has been a rough winter in some ways! Skiing has been great, but leaky roofs, burst pipes and icy roads have not been so great, and some of our most vulnerable citizens have had their routines disrupted by the harsh weather.
Most of us have read in this newspaper about the recent double-whammy of burst pipes at Jamie’s Place, the well-loved adult family home in Winthrop. The good folks at Jamie’s Place, well aware of the need to strengthen the resilience of their facility, are working to ensure that the excellent care they provide can continue to meet the needs of a growing population of elders in the valley.
SASH (Senior Assessment for Support and Housing) recently determined that current needs suggest a facility with more than double the capacity of the current Jamie’s Place. One thing the pandemic has taught us is that it is important to be near family and friends if we need help and the staff and board of Jamie’s Place are formulating a forward-thinking plan to welcome more residents.
In their own words, “Jamie’s Place operates on The Green House Model’s philosophy of care, which aims to ‘de-institutionalize’ and enliven the long-term care environment by creating specially-designed homes in which elders can live with dignity, comfort and companionship.”
That’s a worthwhile mission indeed, and one we should all support. Each of us wishes “dignity, comfort and companionship” for ourselves and our loved ones.
There are many organizations and individuals in the Methow addressing our insistent and diverse housing needs — Methow Housing Trust, Methow At Home, The Methow Conservancy, Room One, and TwispWorks, to name a few. All have a slightly different focus but share the goal of providing safe, comfortable, affordable housing for the people of this valley.
Jamie’s Place occupies a special niche in that consortium of problem-solvers. They serve our most vulnerable neighbors, and provide an alternative way to stay connected, safe and loved while needing extra care. Although the current facility is showing its age and inadequate size, its location is increasingly vibrant. It is close to town, to trails, to The Barnyard Cinema, Homestream Park, Little Star School and the new library.
A new and improved Jamie’s Place can add its own special flavor and grace to the neighborhood and help us all to make the Methow a wonderful place to live.
Ray and Mary Johnston are principals in Johnston Architects.