Living with Alzheimer’s

Increasingly, the solution may come in the form of facilities dedicated to serving those with memory impairment. Edmond already has one such center, Touchmark at Coffee Creek, but soon the city will have an $8.8 million facility to meet a growing demand.

Autumn Leaves of Edmond, the first stand-alone memory-care facility in the state, is slated to open near the end of the year to care exclusively for patients with Alzheimer’s, dementia and memory impairment.

This type of memory-care community might be the start of a wave. By 2050, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimate the number of Americans living with Alzheimer’s or another type of dementia will more than double.

Kay Adkins

“The population is only aging,” said Kay Adkins, director of development for The LaSalle Group, which will operate the center. “As baby boomers grow older, the need for this sort of care is going to continue to grow.

Being solely memory care, there aren’t enough competitors to serve the need at this point.”

The company was eager to expand into the Oklahoma City market. Edmond quickly stood out for its atmosphere and proximity to other metro communities.

“It’s a very upscale city and offers pretty much any type of services from medical to personal to entertainment,” said Jon Featherston, associate developer. “It has a ton to offer, but it has a small-town feel to it.”

Autumn Leaves of Edmond will house 46 beds, which is larger than most similar facilities.

Each detail has been designed with its residents in mind, Featherston said. Using Alzheimer’s and dementia research, decisions are made about everything from the color scheme to the spacing of the lights and windows.

Autumn Leaves communities are divided into four “neighborhoods,” each with its own corresponding theme and color.

For instance, instead of having to remember a specific room number, a resident can look for the harbor hallway with its lighthouses and blue decorations. All on-site staff will have specific training to deal with memory impairment.

Construction at 1001 S. Bryant has begun and lasts 10 months.

Nicole Hill

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