Letha Hartley, Executive Director at The Suites at Cypress Pond
TIFTON, GA (WALB) -
A record number of Americans have Alzheimer's disease, and that number continues to grow. An assisted senior living facility in Tifton is doing all they can to meet the growing need.
At Cypress Pond in Tifton, They're working on a memory impairment unit. It's a specific living area that's designed with folks that have dementia or Alzheimer's disease.
Not only will feature all the comforts of home, but it's safe. From 2000 to 2010, the number of Alzheimer Cases shot up 68%.
"Number one technology is a log better so we can diagnose people and the second thing, age is the biggest risk factor so people are living a lot longer these days," said Dan Phillips, Development Director for the Alzheimer's Association.
And sadly, there is no cure. "It's a sad disease-- it robs the person and the family," said Letha Hartley, Executive Director at The Suites at Cypress Pond.
Hartley says they see it firsthand. "Over the years, we have had to let a lot of our residents grow we could not meet their needs, we could not keep them safe."
But soon they will have this state if the art memory impairment unit to prevent that from happening. Seasons at Cypress Pond will house 11 apartments for those with a specific level of memory impairment. "Primarily this is for our existing residents that we cannot keep, and this will enable us to keep them," said Hartley.
The wing will be designed in a circle, so residents can stroll around whenever they please. They can stop by the plunder shop; pick up foods, jewelry, even dolls. At dinner, pictures of past historical figure will decorate the walls. And if they forget where they live, each resident will have their own shadow box outside their unit. The boxes will hold old photographs or meaningful belongings that will help bring them back.
"When the memory or the dementia or the Alzheimer's progresses there is a good chance they may wander, they may go outside of the building and you don't know where they are. The key is safety. At Seasons, a keypad will prevent that from happening.
"This is so exciting to have this in our area where we can give the family and the resident primarily, the attention, the love and respect they deserve," said Hartley.
They hope to have the project completed this summer.