Mountain Vista Builds Legacy of High Quality Care


Mountain Vista Senior Living Community sits 15 sprawling acres of land looking out towards the mountains. Inside, it is a veritable town, with its own beauty salon, chapel, dog park, aviary, general store, garden, theater and clubhouse. 

“At Mountain Vista, we really strive to have a home-like environment,” said Director of Resource Development Annie Lazano.”This is like a more familial culture here.” 

Mountain Vista has supported Wheat Ridge with independent living, assisted living, assisted living memory care, skilled nursing and skilled nursing rehab since 1963, and now through its internship program, is training the next generation to do the same.

The faith-based nonprofit prides itself on its continuum of care, particularly in an industry like assisted living which typically has high turnover rates, said Marketing Director Lisa Weber. Many of the staff members have served there for more than 20 years, and a recently retired employee was at Mountain Vista for 51 years. That longevity of staff allows Mountain Vista to provide individualized, high quality care to each of their clients. 

“They know all their unique needs, they know all the ins and outs of how to take care of those specific individuals by having that consistent care,” Lazano added. 

Having individualized care programs that allow clients to maintain autonomy and choice is important to Mountain Vista’s values. When people are entering assisted living, it is a big adjustment for both them and their caregivers, and being able to make Mountain Vista feel more like their home can help both the families and the clients feel more comfortable, Lazano said.

Their services are not just for the clients, but for their families, spouses and caregivers too, who may be worried about letting someone else look after their loved one, Weber said. But caregivers can often deal with burnout and fatigue, and allowing other people to help allows both them and their loved ones to have their needs met. 

“We’re not just our patients and residents advocates, but we have to be that loved ones advocate as well,” Weber said. “It’s a gentle approach for them, because it’s letting go, and their vows mean everything.” 

Nursing homes can also be met with negative stereotypes or hesitations because people can think of it as highly institutional or solely a medical resource, and not one with holistic care for them or their loved ones, Lazano said. 

But, Mountain Vista’s resident-centered care strives to help clients maintain their sense of identity and comfort, even through simple means, like knowing their favorite dessert or what time they prefer to wake up in the mornings. 

“During that adjustment period for families they don’t always have an idea of what they’re doing, or what they’re getting into,” Lazano added. “We are painting that picture of, we still get to support you in who you are as a unique individual.” 

That is something Mountain Vista hopes to pass down to the next generation of assisted living workers, particularly through their internship program, which works with students from the Jefferson County Workforce Development Center and Jefferson County Public Schools, primarily Wheat Ridge High School, to mentor them or to help them become certified nursing assistants. 

This teaches the students communication, teamwork, problem solving, critical thinking and other skills they would need to successfully work with clients at a facility like Mountain Vista. 

After more than 60 years, Mountain Vista has developed a culture of service, with people who stay in the industry for decades because they truly love the work they do. That, they believe, is what sets them apart. 

“We’re here to serve, and that’s an important piece for our residents and their families,” Weber said. “That’s something that you cannot teach, and it just shows as a group, that we’re all here for the right reasons.” 

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