Local first-of-its-kind memory care facility celebrates 25-year milestone


Midwest / Wisconsin 135 Views

Ovation Communities’ Helen Bader Center set the standard for home-centered care concept

MILWAUKEE, WIS. – MAY 16, 2018 – This June, Ovation Communities will commemorate the 25th anniversary of its revolutionary dementia care facility, the Helen Bader Center. When it opened in 1993, the center was the first of its kind to focus on creating a familiar home-like environment and person-centered care concept, rather than one that was institutional and clinical. The model has since become a nationally-recognized standard for care in the industry.

Ovation’s Helen Bader Center was the vision of Helen Daniels Bader, former Assistant Director of Social Services and Staff Education Coordinator, and a well-known Milwaukee icon and philanthropist. Spurred on by her intense interest in helping people with Alzheimer’s disease and dementia, Bader convened a team of partners including Dr. Uriel Cohen and Dr. Gerald Waisman of the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, authors of Holding On to Home: Designing Environments for People with Dementia, and Dr. Christine Kovach, Ovation’s Research Professor in Aging, to work on the project.

It is now understood that the physical environment plays a significant role in the daily lives, treatment and outcomes for people with dementia living in long term care facilities. The Helen Bader Center was built with an innovative mindset, extending the basic vision through every detail from architectural elements like space and lighting, to therapeutic activities like music and art. Modeled to be just like a resident’s home, there are no medical carts, staff wear non-clinical clothing, and residents are encouraged to use common areas for socializing and connecting.

“What we know of today as the standard for care was revolutionary 25 years ago,” said Michael Sattell, Ovation Communities President and CEO. “Helen’s vision, commitment and passion continue to make the Helen Bader Center the amazing home it is today.”

The Helen Bader Center is not only a residential memory care facility, but an institution known for research and education. It continues to be recognized nationally and internationally as an innovative and respected leader in the senior care industry. The research team, led by Dr. Kovach, continues to look at and develop non-pharmacological treatments that enable well-being, and new treatments for early and mid-stage Alzheimer’s and dementia.

The initial project was funded by the Helen Bader Foundation, and continues to be supported by Bader’s sons, Daniel and David, and now Bader Philanthropies, Inc.

“As Bader Philanthropies and our community continue to evolve, we are humbled to have been on the ground floor of supporting compassionate care for individuals living with Alzheimer’s and dementia and supporting the work of the Helen Bader Center,” said Daniel J. Bader, Bader Philanthropies President and CEO.

The Helen Bader Center is located within Ovation Jewish Home.


Ovation Communities will honor the legacy of Helen Daniels Bader and celebrate the 25th anniversary of Ovation’s Helen Bader Center at its In-Ovation Annual Luncheon June 4 at noon. The event takes place at 1451 Renaissance Place. For more information or to order tickets, visit ovation.org/foundation/annual-event or call 414-721-9260.


Founded in 1906, Ovation Communities is a Jewish faith-based organization, and offers a full continuum of senior living and care options, from independent apartments to rehabilitation and skilled nursing services. Comprised of three locations – Ovation Jewish Home, Ovation Chai Point, and Ovation Sarah Chudnow – Ovation Communities provides outstanding care and vibrant living environments intended to celebrate independent lifestyles. Ovation Communities welcomes residents of all faiths. For more information visit www.ovation.org.