It’s a cold winter day and the hills north of Camas are still dusted with snow, but inside the Ireland Greens Adult Family Home in Camas Carol Passow sits in the warm dining room, looking out over the home’s sprawling 5-acre property.
“They’ve been really good to me here,” Passow says of the adult care facility run by Richard and Brenda Davis. “I’ve lived in three places since I left my daughter’s house and this is the best.”
The adult care facility, which provides round-the-clock care by certified nursing assistants and a home-like atmosphere with tea times, happy hours and trips into town for shopping or dining out, recently opened a waitlist for five new residents.
The owners, Brenda and Richard, have a background in the health industry — Richard is a dentist, Brenda a dental hygienist, and both have experience with geriatric patients.
When they moved from San Diego, California, to the 5-acre wooded property off of Northeast Ireland Road in Camas’ northern outskirts, the Davises wanted to own a business that would allow an easy transition into retirement.
They also wanted to open a care facility that could accommodate Brenda’s 88-year-old father, Don Quilling, who was recovering from a stroke and needed a higher level of care than he could get in his own house or at a retirement community.
Caring for Brenda’s father, learning nutrition and exercise methods that assist with physical recovery and working with physical and nutritional therapists — along with their 25 years in the dental profession — sparked the Davises’ interest in establishing an adult care home and helping others.
“We got the idea that we could do this, that we could make a difference in someone’s life,” Brenda said. “And there is a desperate need for (adult care facilities).”
The home offers 24-hour care for long-term residents like Passow and Quilling as well as respite care for seniors or medically compromised adults who may stay at Ireland Greens for a just a short time while their regular caregivers — usually family members — go on vacation or take a break from round-the-clock caregiving.
Adult care homes like Ireland Greens are licensed by the state to provide room, board, laundry, supervision and help with personal care and daily living activities. The state requires the owner or an employee to reside in the home and the Davises do live on site. Both have certified nursing assistant (CNA) and emergency medical training. And their oldest son, Shawn, is one of four CNAs who help at the home. The other CNAs are typically nursing students from Clark College, Brenda said.
The Davises describe their adult family home as a “haven where residents can escape the hectic everyday chores and rely on us to provide meals, housekeeping, laundry, run errands and make appointments.”
The meals served at Ireland Greens, Brenda said, are designed with health and variety in mind. The home often has “theme nights” based on Mexican, Irish, Chinese, Italian or Mediterranean cuisine and serves three meals a day, along with a tea time in the early afternoon and a happy hour before dinner to help residents get enough fluids.
“We go all out for meals. And we also have ‘residents night,’ when the residents get to choose what we eat,” Brenda said. “We try to listen to our residents and make things they like. For instance, we’ve been making recipes Carol (Passow) brought from her family.”
Each private room comes equipped with a bathroom and is designed to meet the needs of the senior or medically compromised residents. For instance, because Passow has limited mobility, her bedroom includes a hydraulic Hoyer lift to help her move out of bed and into her wheelchair.
In the main part of the house, residents can hang out in the living or dining rooms or go onto a large patio deck, which overlooks the property’s wooded acreage. The Davises plan to build a limited mobility putting green on the deck this year.
The home also has a pasture with llama, goats and chickens as well as therapy dogs that include Benji, a dachshund and Jazzy, a Maltese.
“As health care specialists, our lives shine when we genuinely care for the needs of others,” the Davises state on their Ireland Greens website, adding that families who are caring for elders or medically compromised adults may feel guilty because they don’t have enough time to work, raise a family and be a full-time caregiver.
That’s where Ireland Greens comes in.
“We’re all aging … and families tend to have two people working to make ends meet. People feel so bad, but they don’t have time to care for mom and dad anymore,” Brenda said. “When mom or dad lives here, however, they can come and really visit and spend quality time together. They don’t have to feel guilty.”
The adult family home recently opened its waitlist and has room for five new residents.