Nazareth Living Center to construct Memory Care assisted-living facility

Nazareth Living Center, a nonprofit senior living community located in south county, received approval from the Missouri Health Facilities Review Committee to construct a new 35,000-square-foot assisted-living facility dedicated to providing Memory-Care services.

The two-story, $8.7 million facility will contain 48 private studio apartments, each with a full bathroom. Centralized kitchen, dining and laundry areas will be located on each floor and there will be warm, home-like areas for group and recreational activities, according to a news release. The design of the new Memory-Care facility is being done in consultation with the Alzheimer’s Association Education Institute-St. Louis Chapter to optimize program development and the overall environment for those with dementia.

”There is a large and growing need in the St. Louis region for assisted living programs focused on Memory Care,” Nazareth Living Center Chief Executive Officer Ron Mantia stated in the release. “This new facility builds upon our almost two decades of expertise in providing compassionate, individualized memory care in a faith-based environment for those who are in the early stages of dementia or Alzheimer’s disease who also need assistance with activities of daily living.”

A 2013 study by consultants CliftonLarsonAllen identified a need for more than 300 assisted-living Memory-Care apartments in the metropolitan area. The expansion project at Nazareth Living Center will help address this critical need, the release stated.

“We have offered premier Memory-Care services in a dedicated area of our Gleason Hall Assisted Living Center since 1997,” stated Janet Vise, manager of Nazareth’s Memory-Care Program. “The new Memory-Care facility will enable our residents to have private baths and a secure outdoor garden while remaining under the expert care and supervision of our staff. It is a wonderful enhancement to our program.”

The new Memory-Care facility is part of a comprehensive campus renovation and construction project called “Building for the Future” that is planned by Nazareth Living Center for the coming years. As part of the anticipated $30 million overall campus renovation project, the Missouri Health Facilities Review Committee also approved a $2.25 million renovation of Nazareth’s skilled-nursing facility to include 30 private rooms — 19 with walk-in showers — and a much larger rehabilitation area.

“Over the past two decades, post-hospital rehabilitation has moved away from in-hospital units to skilled-nursing rehabilitation outside of the hospital setting,” Mantia explained. “The renovation in our McGovern Commons skilled nursing facility will enable us to provide more hours of daily therapy, which means we can help patients get back on their feet faster and effectively shorten their length of stay.”

The 65-plus population in the United States is projected to rise from 12 percent of the population in 2000 to 19 percent by 2030. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services also estimates that 70 percent of Americans who reach age 65 will need some form of long-term care.

“Our vision is to continue to be the St. Louis area’s preferred senior living campus offering a continuum of person-centered care and services,” Mantia added. “These strategic investments to maintain and enhance the lives of older adults in our community will enable us to continue to offer caring, individualized services for all seniors.”

Total cost for the two projects approved by the Missouri Health Facilities Review Board is $14.5 million. Renovation of the skilled-nursing facility will get under way in September and take roughly 13 months to complete. Construction of the new Memory-Care facility will begin in October with anticipated occupancy by February 2017.