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Bainbridge Senior Living announces plans for new assisted-living center

A new facility that will give Bainbridge residents another option for memory care and assisted-living may be complete in just over a year.

Bainbridge Senior Living, which owns and operates a number of assisted-living facilities on the island, announced its intentions to build a fourth facility – a project that could be finished as soon as fall 2011.

The 46,000-square-foot, $14 million Madrona House is planned to be located on Madison Avenue near Bainbridge Fire Station 21.

Two floors of the four-story facility will be dedicated to 30 memory care units, while the bottom half of the building will house assisted-living residents.

Donald Roose, operator of the house and chief executive officer of Port Madison Company Inc., said the concept of memory care, which involves looking after individuals with neurological or psychological issues (including Alzheimer’s and dementia patients), isn’t widely found on Bainbridge. The only caregiver to offer the service is Messenger House, and Roose feels that kind of care should be administered in a different way.

Roose said often residents are clumped together in groups of 35 to 40 and receive little individual attention from staff.

“It’s not a terribly friendly, or easy, way for them to coexist,” he said.

Residents will be split into groups of 13 to 16, in what Roose called “neighborhoods.” These neighborhoods allow residents with similar problems to be put together and receive more personalized care.

“This group of individuals would have similar difficulties so that they can be dealt with much easier by the caregiver,” he said.

A large emphasis was placed on greater attention from caregivers in the design of the facility. The plan is to have one caregiver for every four residents.

Roose said the project has already gone through the city’s Design Review Board and Planning Commission. It has a conditional use permit and last week turned in its architectural drawings as part of the building permit process. Roose said construction could begin in July or August, with the facility opening next fall, if all goes well.

The building is one of the facility’s greatest selling points, Roose said.

Despite its relative size, only 12 percent of the land will be used for the actual house. The site will feature several green elements, including a pervious parking service, rain gardens and walking trails.

Having this facility on Bainbridge allows the other homes run by Bainbridge Senior Living – Wyatt House and Madison Avenue House – to transfer memory care patients when their conditions become too much to handle. Currently, those residents have to be sent somewhere off island to get the care they need.

The facility qualified for and obtained federal Housing and Urban Development loans to cover the $14 million price tag. The HUD loans, which are processed through federal lenders, are guaranteed.

“The benefit here is that once you’ve gone through that process, as laborious as it might be, we end up with the ultimate financing,” Roose said. “It ensures the success of project and it allows us to offer a price that is very competitive.”

Still, the new facility won’t be cheap. Assisted-living rates run approximately $3,000 monthly, a cost comparable to competing centers in the area. Roose wasn’t sure how much the memory-care units would cost, but he said competitors charge around $4,000 monthly for a single bedroom unit.

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