Though the readers of Mount Pleasant Magazine gave Franke at Seaside the nod as the area’s best assisted living facility, it is much more than just a place where people live.
Instead, it is a virtual beehive of activity, home to more than 400 people, well over half of them in the 75 patio homes and 100 apartments that make up the independent living areas of the 44-acre campus in Seaside Farms on Rifle Range Road. Residents have access to a well-equipped wellness center; physical, occupational and speech therapy; a beauty salon; a music therapist and an art therapist; regular outings; world-class meals; and visits from accomplished musicians from around the world. The facility is close to the beach and also to an array of restaurants and shopping venues.
All this would certainly be enough to rank Franke at Seaside among Mount Pleasant’s best assisted living facilities, but, according to Community Outreach Director Kassie South, the most important reason Franke was voted No. 1 is its experienced staff. Sandy Stoll has been with Franke for 19 years, the last 12 as administrator, while Paris Goldston, the director of assisted living, has been there 11 years. Some employees have spent more than a quarter of a century with Franke.
It doesn’t hurt that Franke at Seaside is a nonprofit, faith-based facility and a ministry of the Lutheran Church.
“We’re family-oriented, rather than a big for-profit company,” South explained.
“We allow the residents to play a part in their own plan of care,” Goldston added.
The Franke staff participates in leadership training every month and also attends conferences to help them keep up with what’s going on in the assisted living industry. For example, South, Executive Chef Nick Hunter and Director of Nursing Summer Scurry recently were invited to Indianapolis to teach a session at the National Leading Age Conference about the culinary experience at Franke.
South pointed out that the food at Franke is already among the most inviting aspects of the facility. Fresh ingredients from local providers are delivered every day to Hunter’s kitchen, and Franke even has a garden that provides residents with fresh vegetables.
Hunter has taken his culinary expertise to a whole new level, appearing in cooking demonstrations regularly on the “Lowcountry Live” TV show. Franke also catered the East Cooper Meals on Wheels fundraiser in 2016 and helps the Alzheimer’s Association as well.
Exercise is important to people of any age, and the residents at Franke can remain in motion at the Wellness Center, which offers free-standing strength and balance equipment, a heated pool, a whirlpool spa and state-of-the-art low impact aerobic and resistance equipment. Two full-time staff members are available to help out, along with College of Charleston interns and outside instructors.
Residents can participate in a wide range of classes, from quilting and sewing to pottery-making and painting. Franke offers classes called “Franke University,” where residents can continue lifelong learning. They wine and dine at local restaurants, and, in the spring and summer, you can probably find some of them watching a minor league baseball game at Joe Riley Park in Charleston.
Franke was founded in 1892 on Calhoun Street in downtown Charleston and has been at its current location in Mount Pleasant since 1996.
To learn more, visit www.frankeatseaside.org.