Tuesday, February 14, 2017 - Updated: 2:43 PM
By Venita Fritz
Construction is underway at the Stilley House Assisted Living Center in Benton to add a community specifically for people with dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. The program will be called ‘The Stilley House Memory Care Community’ and will occupy around 8,000 square feet on the campus of the Assisted Living community.
The $1 million addition will include an entrance separate from the Assisted Living Community, 17 private studio-style apartments with private bathrooms, a courtyard, dining room and areas offering specialized services for residents with dementia.
Stilley House Administrator Allen Jones said the community is being built in response to a growing need for residency and specialized services for people with dementia. He said demographic data for Marshall County estimates about 450 people will have Alzheimer’s disease by 2020.
“Most caregivers are adult children who are still working and are faced with concerns about how to take care of their parents. Concerns range from whether or not they are taking their meds, to proper nutrition and safety,” said Jones. “It’s a growing problem and there is a real need right here in Marshall County for this kind of community.”
Jones said the day-to-day needs of persons with dementia are unique and require a specialized approach to care. He said agitation, for example, is common among those with dementia. Within the community will be a “tranquility room” with mood lighting, soft music and massage chairs to calm feelings of agitation.
“With dementia resident’s, less is more,” said Jones. “The design of the community will address the need to keep things free of clutter, which can cause confusion for the residents.”
Another common problem with dementia residents is their tendency to wander off. Jones said the Memory Care Community will provide a locked community but the courtyard area being constructed near the rear of the center will allow residents the freedom to go outdoors without the concern of them leaving unattended. Specialized equipment will also be in place to monitor residents’ needs within their apartments.
Jones said the Memory Care Community will employ an additional 6-12 staff members including resident care attendants, activity coordinators and a supervisor.
For more information on the Stilley House Memory Care Community contact Jones at 270-527-1700. He said that while pricing for the apartments has not yet been established, there are a number of payment options available including private pay, long-term care insurance and veteran’s benefits.
Construction of the facility is expected to be complete by late summer. Pinnacle Inc. of Benton is the general contractor for the project.