By Assunta Ng
Northwest Asian Weekly
In celebration of Mid-Autumn Festival, Aegis held an open house at its newest facility on Sept. 14. Two-hundred-thirty guests, mostly from the Asian community, attended the festive lunch held on the same day. Aegis specializes in assisted living.
Looming on top of Queen Anne, Aegis at Rodgers Park is a work of art — from the view facing the park, to the interior design that captures a visitor’s attention instantly.
The green setting and Aegis’ quality apartment units provide a comfortable lifestyle for seniors. Although Aegis caters to the mainstream community, it serves as a mirror for the upcoming Asian Aegis Gardens in Newcastle, opening in fall of 2017.
The Aegis Gardens model was displayed during the open house. “This is the model for the next Aegis,” said Dwayne Clark, chairman and founder of Aegis Living. Aegis at Rodgers Park cost $60 million to build. Every new site sets the minimum standard for the next one, Clark said, and the bar keeps getting higher and higher.
Aegis Gardens will also cost about $60 million, Clark said, but the units will be bigger.
Aegis has already hired a new manager, Meng Lo, for Aegis Gardens. It will be the second Asian assisted living for Aegis. The first one is in California.
“Aegis Gardens is unique and just like the one at Rodgers, a six-star hotel,” said Gary Locke, former U.S. Ambassador to China, with “a shopping mall (on the lower floor),” including a yoga-tai chi studio, juice bar, salt-water swimming pool, a television and games room, crafts room, hair salon, massage room, and a social club meeting room.
Gardens is connected not only to Chinese culture, but Chinese American history. Located next to a lake and China Creek, Chinese miners used to work there in the 19th century and were chased out eventually. It is fitting to have a Chinese Aegis in a location close to Chinese history, Locke said.
Aegis Gardens give the seniors “a sense of community,” Locke said. It has a large community hall, childcare center, dance theater, music room and lecture room, and nature-walk way, and families are welcome to cook meals there with their parents so “they don’t feel isolated.”
Another feature that the Gardens will have is the mahjong room, a popular Chinese game.
Feng shui is incorporated throughout the home. Chinese design furniture will be used in many of the Gardens’ rooms.
At Rodgers, the size of the movie theater surprised me. It is even bigger than the theater at the White House. I wouldn’t be surprised if Aegis Gardens will be showing Chinese and other popular Asian movies.
Clark said that with every senior home Aegis has built, they focus on the details. Art pieces in every corner, a wall of interesting clocks — and anything they can think of to make their clients happy, such as the candy concession counter. Those little things will give them moments of joy like they were as a child, Clark said.
Locke said the baby boomers are growing in Washington state. Within the 25-mile radius of Newcastle, there are 92,000 seniors. The Gardens will be close to families, convenient for children and grandkids. Most have busy lives and would like to visit their parents and grandparents without having to drive too far.
Clark said that people can pick their choice of rooms at the Gardens, with a deposit.
Currently, Aegis has about 2,000 employees and close to 20 facilities.
For more information, go to aegisliving.com.
Assunta can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.