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Memory care the ‘missing piece of the healthcare puzzle’

Published: Friday, Sept. 28, 2012 11:30 a.m. CDT • Updated: Friday, Sept. 28, 2012 11:44 a.m. CDT
This picture shows where the two ends of the current Prairie View Assisted Living will be connected in order to add on the memory-care area. Ground breaking is set tentatively for April 2013, and construction will take about nine months.

Planning for an assisted-living, memory-care area at Prairie View Assisted Living started in January and preliminary architectural and financial plans are under way.

A memory care area is a more intimate setting for individuals who have some cognitive impairment, like Alzheimer’s disease or dementia. It is specifically designed to care for individuals with those limitations.

The plan for building the memory-care area at Prairie View Assisted Living consists of connecting the buildings together, making a square. The memory-care area will have 10 to 12 apartments and be its own secure area.

“Assisted living memory care is a different level of care for people who have more early- to mid- stages of Alzheimer’s or dementia,” said Amy Edmonson, administrator of Prairie View Assisted Living. “Traditionally, we have been making referrals to a skilled-care facility, when in fact, the individual’s needs could easily be met in an assisted-living setting.”

The addition of the memory-care area will not take away from the population of the local nursing homes. The assisted-living, memory-care area is for individuals who don’t need the skilled care, but need the assisted living. When individuals decline to the point they need skilled care, they will be able to go to a facility where that is available.

There is not an assisted living memory care area in Union County.

“It is the missing piece of the healthcare puzzle in Union County,” said Edmonson.

Ground breaking for the new addition is set tentatively for April 2013, and construction will last about nine months.

Adding on the memory-care area will also allow Prairie View Assisted Living to hire more employees. Because the memory care area is its own entity, it requires its own staffing.

One of the concerns that Edmonson said she has been hearing is the general population at Prairie View Assisted Living may be intruded upon by others who are wandering around. But, Edmonson said that isn’t the case because the memory-care area will be secured.

“I just want to say thank you to the huge number of supporters we had,” said Edmonson. “Everyone has been incredibly supportive, and without that support, I don’t know if our owners would have considered it.”

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