University Health Care Systems on Friday morning opened the doors to The Windsor House, a 25-suite assisted living facility that will specialize in the care of residents with Alzheimer’s and dementia.
No residents are moving in just yet, however, while staffers undergo specialized training as they await state licensing for the unique facility.
Construction on the $5 million project started in November 2011 on six acres adjacent to the Brandon Wilde retirement community in Evans. The project was planned as a personal care home, said Brandon Wilde President and CEO Rich Kisner. When state legislation passed last year creating the designation of assisted living communities, the project was “upgraded” and now awaits that new level of licensing.
“We’ve got staff who are excited to come up and start working,” said Jennie Phillips, the director of assisted living for Brandon Wilde. “I’m just excited to get things going and get folks moved in.”
Enhanced training for those staffers will include dementia care, medication delivery and security, Kisner said.
“We wanted some time to make sure that we were able to work out every possible glitch that we might have run into, and make sure that we had a safe environment for residents,” Kisner said. “When you’re dealing with an Alzheimer’s/dementia population, safety becomes a very, very high priority. We wanted to make sure that everything was completed and behind us.”
All 25 suites have kitchenettes, private bathrooms and showers, Phillips said. The facility has a spa and a physician’s exam room, along with small, secure private courtyards and a large community courtyard.
“The beauty of this facility is it represents the next step in state-of-the-art care for residents with Alzheimer’s and dementia,” he said. “It is intended to be a homelike environment, and it augments the step of moving away from institutional care to homelike care.”
The Windsor House name comes from Brandon Wilde resident Stella Windsor Grandin, who donated $1 million for the facility in memory of her parents, Alexander and Ruth Windsor; they were among Brandon Wilde’s first residents in 1990.