Construction equipment hummed on a sunny March morning as a ribbon was cut for a new memory care facility at The Lodge at Mallard’s Landing.
The facility will be designed for residents who have needs such as Alzheimer’s or other dementias.
The Gig Harbor Chamber of Commerce joined Lodge staff members and residents to cut the ribbon last Wednesday.
The Lodge at Mallard’s Landing, 7083 Wagner Way, has independent living cottages, assisted living apartments and a memory care wing. That wing will become more assisted living space once the new facility is complete.
“It adds to our ability to provide all levels of care,” said Lisa Culbert, executive vice president of marketing for Senior Services of America.
The 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 DRK Development of Lakewood.
Bob Hitchcock, executive director of the Lodge at Mallard’s Landing, said it’s important to provide a space that is conducive to residents’ quality of life. He highlighted the garden area as an improvement in that 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. The Alzheimer’s Association estimates more than 5 million Americans are living with Alzheimer’s Disease. By 2050, the association says as many as 16 million people could live with it. Nearly one in every three seniors who dies each year has a memory-care issue such as Alzheimer’s or a dementia, according to statistics from the association.
Culbert said the new center will be great for couples, particularly when one spouse has trouble with memory. It will allow the couple to stay near each other while they receive appropriate care.
“Not having to drive to see your loved one is really good,” Culbert said.
Jim O’Brien and Irene Brown, both of whom live at the Lodge at Mallard’s Landing, helped with last week’s ribbon cutting. Community relations director Jen Drake said the construction hasn’t disrupted residents.
“They’re having a blast watching the new building be built,” Drake said. “It’s kind of an event.”
Reed Kelley, who is part of the property’s management group, said the design of the facility will be consistent with the current earth-toned buildings on the property that have green awnings.
“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 firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her on Twitter, @gateway_karen.