By Kevin Kelley
The Gardens at Westlake Senior Living assisted living residence has dropped plans to build a 24-bed dementia care unit.
Instead, the Detroit Road facility is introducing a program for individuals with mild cognitive impairment, a condition that affects memory but does not affect the ability to do daily tasks, said Christina Melarango, executive director at Gardens at Westlake.
Gardens had successfully obtained a conditional use permit last fall from the Westlake Planning Commission and City Council to build the now-canceled unit.
In the new program, called the Residence Club, a certified dementia care specialist will work with 12 people from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily on educational and social activities, Melarango said. The memory-impaired patients will continue to live in their apartments at the Gardens of Westlake.
The cost of being in the program will be added to a resident’s individual care plan, Melarango said, which is separate from one’s room and board fees.
The conclusion, Melarango said, was that patients with mild cognitive impairment needed to be in a smaller group setting than the locked dementia unit Gardens originally planned.
“It’s proving to not only return their confidence and socialization skills but it also keeps them in assisted living,” Melarango said of the program.
Gardens at Westlake began testing the program in May and launched it June 1, Melarango said. The Residence Club program was developed by Spectrum Retirement Communities, which owns the Westlake facility.
Information about the Residence Club, as well as other dementia care options on the Westshore, will be presented from 6 to 8 p.m. June 27 at Gardens of Westlake, 27569 Detroit Road, at its free Night To Remember event.