After years working for large corporate senior living companies, Renee Ramsey, CEO and co-founder of Mustang Creek Estates, knew there was something missing. She felt strongly that there had to be a better way to serve seniors. The model used for most modern assisted living communities more closely resembles a hospital or hotel, in which residents are often isolated in their rooms with long hallways separating institutional-feeling common spaces. Together, Ramsey and John Roach, co-founder of Mustang Creek Estates, took a leap of faith to pursue their dream of creating a personalized, comfortable and affordable residential environment for seniors that doesn’t compromise care, the sophistication of services or a sense of purpose. This would be a place where a sense of home was felt in all aspects and compassionate care was provided at an affordable price, which is now the company’s mission. Ramsey and Roach traveled across the country to tour communities others told them were similar, but nothing was quite like what they envisioned. On a flight back home to Dallas, on a napkin provided by Southwest Airlines, the pair sketched out their vision for a true neighborhood made up of homes uniquely designed for seniors who require assisted living or memory care. These homes, shared by no more than 16 seniors, fill the gaps that exist in the industry of assisted living. Now, more than 10 years later, neighborhoods of seniors share life together in Allen, Frisco and Keller – and the newest neighborhood will soon open in Burleson.
“When we worked to create Mustang Creek Estates, many people told us our vision wouldn’t work, but we believed seniors in the area deserved this care so strongly that we invested our own money to bring it to life,” said Ramsey. “We continue to be privately owned to this day, and to us it’s not only about growing our company, but more importantly providing the kind of senior living that was missing and families longed for. Many seniors don’t feel comfortable in a restaurant-style, large dining area ordering from a menu; instead Mustang Creek Estates provides small scale, personalized attention. Each home has a large open kitchen where residents delight in the scents of fresh meals being prepared before them, and the intimate setting allows the caregivers to get to know the residents one-on-one. Our goal is to provide the same attention a family member would give a loved one. We worked to develop a place unlike any other where our communities truly feel like home and that personal care is ingrained in all we do.”
Life at Mustang Creek Estates of Burleson will be very similar to life at home for residents. Each resident’s meal will be homemade. The familiar smells and comforts of home, like cookies baking in the oven, gathering around a dinner table together and visiting after meals can all be found in each of Mustang Creek Estates’ neighborhoods. This atmosphere and care is unlike anything else offered in Burleson, and will make the transition from a family home to assisted living or memory care an easier one, because it is truly set up like a family home within a neighborhood. Residents will participate in activities, if they choose, in other homes where they can visit with other residents in the neighborhood. The team takes great pride in developing an atmosphere in which seniors find fulfillment, friendship and the care they need.
“The response since we announced we were building in the area has been so warm,” said Ramsey. “Last year, when we participated in the Christmas parade, we really got a feel for the town’s atmosphere, and I was so impressed. You don’t see many cities like Burleson in America today, and it’s nice to still see those small town values on display. That’s that type of environment we want to be a part of, and why we decided to expand to Burleson. We envision residents sitting on the porches of our neighborhood together sharing stories and creating memories together, just like they would at home.”
Ramsey and Roach have worked hard to bring their vision for senior care to life, and their story is one of the true American dream. Their caring hearts allowed them to see that seniors deserved a better way to live in their retirement. Their dedication and courage led them to create this model for affordable senior care, and they have seen many happy families find peace knowing their loved one is being cared for just as they would be at home.
“It’s been a true blessing to see our vision for how we believe seniors should be served come to life,” said Ramsey. “We consider it a huge responsibility to care for someone’s loved one – we don’t take it lightly. I’ve worked in other places where I went home feeling like there had to be a better way, and it feels good to offer high-quality, affordable services. Not many places offer all of these things, so it’s a relief to provide our own model of senior living, on our own terms, without answering to anyone else’s ideas.”
Mustang Creek of Burleson expects to open its first home this fall.