Construction equipment hummed on a sunny March morning as the ribbon was cut for a new memory care facility at The Lodge at Mallard’s Landing.
The new facility is specially designed for residents with memory care needs such as Alzheimer’s and other dementias. The Gig Harbor Chamber of Commerce joined with staff and residents to cut the ribbon on Wednesday afternoon.
The Lodge at Mallard’s Landing, 7083 Wagner Way, has independent living cottages, assisted living apartments and a memory care wing. That memory care wing will become more assisted living space once the new facility is complete.
“It adds to our ability to provide all levels of care,” Lisa Culbert, Executive Vice President of Marketing for Senior Services of America, said.
The new addition will have 36 apartments; social, recreation and wellness areas designed for the memory impaired; underground parking for visitors; a dining room; and an atrium with raised flower beds and a walking path. It is being developed by Lakewood’s DRK Development.
Bob Hitchcock, executive director of the Lodge at Mallard’s Landing, said it’s important to provide a space that is conducive to a good quality of life for residents.
One feature at the new facility designed for quality of life is a garden area.
“It’s important for residents to be safely outside,” Culbert said. “It will be contained so they can freely go out on their own.”
Specialized care for the memory impaired is crucial in this day and age. The Alzheimer’s Association estimates more than five million Americans are living with Alzheimer’s Disease. By 2050, the association says, as many as 16 million people could be living with it.
Nearly one in every three seniors who dies each year have a memory care issue such as Alzheimer’s or a dementia, according to statistics from the association.
Culbert said that the new memory care center is great for couples where one spouse has trouble with memory. It allows the couple to stay nearby each other while receiving appropriate, safe care.
“Not having to drive to see your loved one is really good,” Culbert said.
Two residents helped out with the ribbon cutting. Jim O’Brien and Irene Brown both live at The Lodge. Community relations director Jen Drake said the construction hasn’t disrupted residents, in fact, it’s been exciting.
“They’re having a blast watching the new building be built,” she said. “It’s kind of an event.”
Reed Kelley, who is part of the property’s management group, said the design of the new facility will be consistent to the earth-toned buildings with green awnings currently on the property.
“You won’t be able to tell it wasn’t here before,” he said.
Reporter Karen Miller can be reached at 253-358-4155 or by email at email@example.com. Follow her on Twitter, @Gateway_Karen.