New Topeka senior living facility Providence Home Plus offers care
A new senior-living facility in Topeka is expanding the care options available for the area’s aging individuals.
Providence Homes Plus, which opened this year at 1920 S.W. 32nd St., is a veteran-owned, physician-owned senior-living facility that provides an alternative to the larger, traditional nursing homes people may turn to when looking for care for their loved ones.
“Home plus is the idea that someone needs to be in a nursing home. They need that care. They need that attention. But they don’t necessarily want to be in a giant facility,” said Casey Peavler, one of four co-owners. “They want to be in a more home-like setting. That’s how we ended up creating this place.”
Peavler and his family bought the southwest-Topeka house now home to Providence Homes Plus in 2020 and did some remodeling before standing it up earlier this year. But the idea for such a facility has been a few years in the making.
Peavler, who has a medical degree, said he saw a need for such facilities while completing his residency in Florida, which has one of the highest percentages of people age 65 and older, compared to other states.
“I just saw a huge need, even as a resident, for help with elders,” he said.
Home-plus model on the rise
The idea to open a care facility really began to hit home when Peavler and his family had to place his grandfather in a senior-living facility. Through that process, they became more familiar with the home-plus model.
“He thrived in it,” Mike Peavler, Casey’s father, said of his father-in-law’s time under home-plus care. “They do better in these atmospheres, the smaller atmospheres — less commotion, less noise, less people. But they also have other peers to talk to and to visit with.”
Such home-plus facilities are licensed to care for no more than 12 residents at a time, according to Kansas statute. Cara Sloan-Ramos, with the Kansas Department for Aging and Disability Services, said there are 179 home-plus facilities across the state.
“I do believe the model works,” said Mike, who is a co-owner of Providence.
“It’s a more family-like setting,” said his wife, Lisa Peavler, who also co-owns the facility.
According to Debra Harmon Zehr, president and CEO of LeadingAge Kansas, it’s a model that has become more popular in recent years.
“The sector is growing,” Zehr said, adding that it really boils down to people wanting more options.
“Older people want options for where they’ll receive care. Certainly, their adult children want options for where their parents receive care,” she said. “So (home plus) is another great option.”
Providence has open spots for new residents
Providence Homes Plus is a family affair, as the Peavlers, Topeka natives, own the facility with one other business partner — a friend of Casey’s, who is also a physician.
“My best friend is a doctor in the Air Force, and I’m also a prior Air Force doctor,” Casey said. “So at least two of the owners are docs.”
Lisa also has experience in the medical profession as a registered nurse and worked in long-term care for about 10 years. Now, she’s funneling that experience into her family’s business venture.
They officially opened Providence Homes Plus in March and have been reaching out to local organizations that connect seniors with resources to let them know about the new business.
So far, Providence has attracted one long-term resident, but it is able to accommodate up to eight.
“We thought in this house that eight would be fine,” Lisa said, “because that gives us three semi-private rooms and two private rooms, with comfortable living space.”
They’ve also provided some respite care and are available for adult day care.
Family looks to offer various activities, streamline costs
Lisa said she tries to figure out on the front end what a resident likes to do so Providence can provide the appropriate activities and entertainment for them. Such activities may include watching television, participating in a bible study, playing games, gardening, exercising and more.
“Once this COVID is even more in the rearview mirror, hopefully, we’ll have young groups of children come in for different activities,” Lisa said. “In my experience, the elderly love children — and animals.”
Their goal is also to acquire a van soon to take residents on local field trips. And they hope to offer on-site events, such as movie nights and backyard barbecues.
“The sky is the limit on what we can do,” Lisa said. “I just want it to be tailored to them.”
When it comes to pricing, the Peavlers said Providence is all-inclusive, meaning there aren’t additional charges for certain care or conditions. But that does mean the monthly cost for a resident may look more expensive on the surface.
“I think they need to know up front this is how much it costs to take care of your loved one, and it’s not going to cost more next month,” Lisa said. “That’s what we’ve settled on.”
She said Providence hopes to accept some Medicaid eventually, but as of right now, it is only accepting private pay or private insurance.
The Peavlers encourage anyone interested in the facility to reach out to them with questions about costs. Providence may be found online at ProvidenceHomesPlus.com or reached by calling 785-408-1559.
According to Lisa, the care at Providence really comes down to providing greater flexibility
“It can be more of what (residents) did at home,” she said. “That’s what I want it to be like. Whatever their schedule was at home that worked for them, we want to try to be able to continue that.”