The Marbridge Foundation, a private non-profit organization, is located on 170 acres about 12 miles south of Austin, TX. In 1953, when Ed and Marge Bridges could not find a program that could meet the needs of their son, Jim, who suffered brain damage at birth, Marbridge started as a small working ranch for just a few boys. The ranch quickly gained recognition and began to grow. Today, the community they have built at Marbridge offers three separate living environments on one campus - two assisted living programs and a skilled nursing facility. These communities serve men and women 18 years and older who have mild to moderate cognitive impairments.
Marbridge offers life-long living arrangements coupled with a wide variety of training opportunities each semester through their Abilities Centered Training program. Course offerings include Social Skills, Life Skills, Money Management, Personal Hygiene, Job Skills, Cooking, Yoga, Current Events, Nature, Equine Therapy, Horticultural Therapy and, of course, Special Olympics.
The assisted living programs - both private pay - offer differing levels of support for new residents - many of whom come to Marbridge from public school programs. The Village offers the highest level of independence. Cottage living in the Village offers supervision and support while allowing up to 67 residents to experience as much autonomy as they are able to handle. Many Village residents work in the greater Austin area. Marbridge offers transportation to residents who hold jobs or do volunteer work in the community. The big news at the Village is that 14 new beds will open this coming spring.
The Ranch can accommodate up to 81 residents in dormitories - one for men and one for women. Ranch residents typically need more support, more structure and more supervision than do the residents of the Village. Many Ranch residents are employed on campus.
The Villa, a skilled nursing facility, offers residents from the Ranch and Village the opportunity for life-time care. The Villa provides Physical Therapies, Speech Therapy, Occupational Therapy and many more restorative and rehab programs. The facility can handle up to 81 patients and accepts Medicare, Medicaid and private insurance as well as private pay patients.
Marbridge is approved by the Texas Rehabilitation Commission and is licensed by the Texas Department of Aging and Disabilities. Senior staff, led by President Robert Fulbright brings a wide range of experiences from human services, the business world and non-profit management.
Research Associate Judi Bessette
, EdD gathered information for this article from the Marbridge website and e-mail communication with staff.