KentRidge on Golden Pond opens as assisted living complex

Michael Lewis

The Kent Ridge assisted living center opened Monday. The dining room is designed to be more restaurant like, rather than an institutionalized cafeteria.

Credit: Steve Schirra

The cottage on Golden Pond has come to Kent.

Local investors welcomed residents when they opened a new $8 million assisted-living facility on Oct. 31.

KentRidge at Golden Pond, located on Sunnybrook Road off state Route 261, is the first phase of a three-part development on Kent’s southern border that will also include a condominium complex and a wellness center.

“Kent has been phenomenal,” said Sandy Warner, executive director and co-owner of the facility. “I have never been received as well as we’ve been received in Kent.”

In the movie, On Golden Pond, when Ethel and Norman Thayer arrive at their summer cottage on Golden Pond, their estranged daughter, played by Jane Fonda, shows up with her boyfriend and raises doubts as to whether love can conquer all.

The pond, not to mention some on-screen chemistry between Henry Fonda and Katherine Hepburn, brings the family together and provides a medium to resolve problems that have plagued their relationships for years.

According to Warner, KentRidge at Golden Pond offers a warm and inviting feeling. An asphalt walking trail surrounds the complex and leads to its pond.

Community Development Director Charlie Bowman said Kent’s south side remains one of the last open parcels for development. Bulldozers began clearing the land behind the senior center for construction of 64 condominiums.

“It’s being developed like a campus,” Bowman said. “Each part serves another. If you’re living in the condos and you need assistance, it’s right there.”

The Assisted Living Federation of America defines an assisted-living residence as a special combination of housing, personalized supportive services and health care designed to meet the needs of those who need help with the activities of daily living.

This facility holds up to 112 residents in 92 suites and offers special care programs depending on a resident’s medical needs. Chauffeured transportation is provided, as well as housekeeping and laundry.

“The building works really well probably because there is no top-heavy corporation,” Warner said. “What you see is what you get.”

From music concerts to bingo, there is rarely a dull moment. A full-time social director provides residents with an extensive activities schedule. Other lifestyle amenities include a library, a beauty salon and a social center, which doubles as a game room.

All meals are planned and prepared under the direction of a chef and dietitian, while the service staff wears tuxedos. Beside the dining area sits a double-sided fireplace and a programmable baby grand piano.

 Warner said the philosophy of having the owners work in the buildings has really paid off. Owners continue to change and add furnishings according to the residents’ comments and requests.

Betty Susong, who moved from Greenview Inn to KentRidge at Golden Pond, said she likes everything about her new surroundings. She looks forward to more people joining the neighborhood.

“I’m completely satisfied,” Susong said. “We really don’t have to do anything. I do go to happy hour every once in a while.”

Rob Daigle, a licensed massotherapist and director of housekeeping and laundry, said he treats everyone like his grandma and grandpa, giving them the respect they deserve.

“I’m here to uphold their dignity and way of life on a daily basis,” Daigle said. “This is a castle for people who wish to come here and I’m the caretaker.”

How much does it cost to live in a castle? Residents pay anywhere from $75 to $155 daily depending on the size of their suite.

Contact public affairs reporter Michael Lewis at [email protected].