Three more senior housing projects start to take shape in campus on Oak Grove's River Road

Technically speaking, Madrona Grove Supportive Living is a nursing home, where residents have access to 24-hour nursing care. But Madrona Grove, on the campus of Rose Villa Senior Living, is so much more.COURTESY PHOTO: DAVID PAPAZIAN - Rose Villa resident Coby Freeby meets with staff member Carrie Currin, Avencia Care staffing coordinator, at Madrona Grove.

"The idea behind Madrona Grove was to get away from the old institutional terminology of the nursing home," said Vassar Byrd, the CEO of Rose Villa Senior Living Community, 13505 S.E. River Road.

"Rose Villa is set up in neighborhoods, and those residents who need to move to Madrona Grove for a long-term residency or a short stay for recuperation will just be transferring to a new neighborhood," she said. COURTESY PHOTO: RICK SIMPSON - Erin Cornell, Rose Villa's director of health services, oversees resident Liz Rishel cutting the ribbon on Madrona Grove.

"The building is a three-story large farmhouse that feels like home; it will be compelling instead of dreary, partly because of the large amount of natural light in the facility," Byrd said.

"The more natural light there is the healthier people will be," she said, adding that there will also be outdoor fireplaces, gardens and a walking path. In addition, five of the first-floor residents will have private patios, so staff can wheel them outside.

Madrona Grove residents will continue to have the opportunity to participate in classes and events and go on field trips to regional attractions.

Byrd added that the name of the facility was chosen because "we liked trees and liked the idea of a grove of trees — a gathering of trees. There is a Madrone tree on site, and we will be planting more."

COURTESY PHOTO: RICK SIMPSON - Rose Villa resident Liz Rishel leads the procession on moving day before cutting the ribbon on Madrona Grove.

Capstone project

The opening of Madrona Grove Supportive Living on June 14 is the capstone of Phase Three in the revitalization of Rose Villa, Byrd noted, adding that it has been her goal to renew and reenvision how 24-hour care is experienced by residents on campus for 14 years.

She said that she and Erin Cornell, Rose Villa's director of health services, spent two years going all over the U.S. and Canada researching innovations for residents needing 24-hour care. They talked to residents and staff in other senior communities, she said, because she and Cornell wanted to know how these new concepts worked from day to day.

Madrona Grove is the result of their research.

"Each of the 32 individual residences will have kitchenettes, bathrooms and a bedroom. We have found that many residents don't want to be alone all the time, so at Madrona Grove they can have their privacy, while still sharing a living space; meals will be communally served," Byrd said.

She also noted that two communally owned house cats will take up residence on the second floor.

Architecture firms

Two architecture firms were chosen to design and build Madrona Grove.COURTESY PHOTO: DAVID PAPAZIAN - Nursing home Madrona Grove is a three-story large farmhouse built to feel like home with a large amount of natural light.

Scott Edwards Architecture, a Portland firm, designed the outside of the building which sits on land that was earmarked for redevelopment.

But for the inside, Byrd said, the project required an architecture firm with experience in building nursing homes.

Gawron Turgeon Architecture, based in Scarborough, Maine, was chosen because that firm had "expertise in the small-house model and expertise in the licensing process necessary for a nursing home. It has proven to be a fruitful partnership," she noted.

Building community

Although Madrona Grove is not a zero-energy building like some of the other houses at Rose Villa, it will have a gray-water capture facility in the basement, that will use the water for the garden and landscaping, Byrd said.

It will also have a composting program and the entire Rose Villa campus is certified gold for recycling efforts by Clackamas County.

Byrd noted that Madrona Grove is Medicaid certified, so that 24-hour care will be available to people in the community, not just residents of Rose Villa.

"In the portion of Madrona Grove that has Medicaid licensure, anyone who qualifies for Medicaid can have Medicaid pay the bill," said Jennifer Werdel, director of marketing and communications at Rose Villa Senior Living.

Out of the 32 new residents of Madrona Grove, five are from outside the Rose Villa campus, she noted.

Future projects

Now that Madrona Grove Supportive Living is up and running, the focus will turn to two more Phase Three neighborhoods set to open this summer, along with Rosebud Preschool, opening in January 2023.

A second zero-energy neighborhood called the Trillium Townhomes will open in mid-July; the six homes will generate as much and more electricity than they need, Byrd said.

"The homes don't look like the others; they are brownstone houses that make for a cute little urban setting right on River Road," she said.

The second project, Schroeder Lofts, is a four-story building on the west side of the site. There are 35 loft homes and move-ins will begin in August, Werdel said.

"Schroeder Lofts and Madrona Grove are designed with sustainability stewardship top of mind and will create an environment that is healthy for staff, residents and nature," Werdel said.

She also noted that landscaping around the new housing projects focuses on native plant integration that will meet Portland Audubon Backyard Bird Certification Gold requirements.

Preschool, childcare

Byrd noted that in January 2023, Rosebud Preschool will open next door to Madrona Grove, so that residents will be able to engage in intergenerational activities with the children, including arts and crafts, cooking and gardening.

Werdel noted that personal relationships and connections to the community beyond Rose Villa were taken into consideration when building these new projects.

The preschool "integrates children with seniors and allows residents to see children and parents every day as they access the center through the main lobby or play outside in the adjacent playground," she said.

Byrd added, "We are just thrilled to be doing this; we want to be a community resource."

Madrona Grove Supportive Living amenities

• Licensed massage therapist

• Restorative aide, to help residents with day-to-day exercises

• Registered dietician

• Social worker

• Therapy animals

• Salon services

• Horticultural therapy

• Music therapy

For more information about Rose Villa and Madrona Grove Supportive Living, contact Jennifer Werdel, director of marketing and communications at Rose Villa Senior Living, at 503-652-3076 or by email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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