April 29, 2019
POOLER, GA–When lifelong Georgia resident John Blalock noticed that renowned senior living developer Shepherd Living was building a new community near his home, he realized two things:
1) He had to work there.
2) Things were about to get a lot better for the people in the greater Savannah area who need memory care—and, because of his work experience, he knew there were many.
Blalock is a Licensed Practical Nurse and a licensed Community Residential Care Facility Administrator. Before coming to Shepherd Living, he worked in assisted living communities since 2007, then the home care industry. Home care helps individuals stay in their homes by aiding with care and homemaker duties. While it was gratifying to help in this way, he was struck by the outrageous cost to stay home in the long term – and as a result, people were suffering financially. Time and again, Blalock would explain that while in-home care is a good short-term solution for many, the cost can be prohibitive in the long run.
“Basically, I would tell them, ‘You are paying a fortune to have an unlicensed individual assist you in your home. You could be at an assisted living community where everything is included. It’s way less expensive and you get all the care you need—no more, no less.’ I would tell them if you pick the right community, you can retire and live at an upscale resort with your very own apartment.”
That’s precisely what Shepherd Living offers at its communities, including the one in Pooler.
“The concept is really awesome,” Blalock said. “I mean, if you just look at the layout and grounds, it’s genius the way Shepherd Living brings the outside world right into our community as one. This is the way it should be. For a long time, walls were built around the assisted living communities. This “segregated” the outside world from assisted living, which caused a lot of misconceptions. Now, assisted living is far from a nursing home. It’s apartment living that offers assistance if you need it.”
Added Blalock, “I love the openness of the Memory Care neighborhood—lots of natural lighting and beautiful outside areas that have a greenhouse and putting green for the residents to enjoy. We provide fun activities that stimulate the residents. We are very much family here. There are no buzzing doors, no alarms, no feeling of confinement. We have it all, including safety and security.”
And that, he said, is why he enjoys his work at Shepherd Living. “Even when I first walked in there to look around, you could see people were smiling. They were engaged and outgoing. It’s the feeling of comfort and happiness. I want to see everyone live their best life and that’s precisely what we’re doing here.”
Co-founded by Christine Menedis and Naveen Trehan, the Lucky Shepherd family of companies integrate technology and real estate development, while crafting unique operational brands that push their respective industries forward. Shepherd Living, the group’s senior living division, has made an early name for itself as an innovator by disrupting traditional notions of what a senior living community must be and crafting spaces for the broader public to enjoy—not just its residents. With a focus on bringing joy into the lives of seniors and their communities, the company integrates holistic wellness throughout each of its developments, from farm-to-table culinary and on-site greenhouses to more than 15,000 square feet of spa/wellness offerings, including proprietary fitness classes created specifically for those 55+.