Tuesday, August 01, 2000

Alzheimer's home opens

By Mark Schmetzer
Enquirer Contributor

        Lisa Hines wants to make her patients feel like they're home.

        Her patients have Alzheimer's disease.

        Ms. Hines, a 1977 Deer Park High School graduate, hopes to soon be helping 60 of them cope comfortably at Arden Courts, a Kenwood facility built exclusively for the care of Alzheimer's patients.

        Arden Courts, 4580 E. Galbraith Road, opens today. An open house for the public is 2-4 p.m. Sunday.

        Arden Courts is part of a nationwide network of 450 long-term care centers operated by HCR (Health Care Retirement) Manor Care. The newest is one of 46 Arden Courts across the country and the first in Greater Cincinnati. Another is to open in Anderson Township within months, Ms. Hines said.

        Most Alzheimer's facilities either have been converted from other uses or are parts of larger centers that handle several kinds of patients, Ms. Hines said.

        “So many facilities are in the habit of establishing dementia units, but the only difference between that and the rest of the facility is the way they secure it,” said Ms. Hines. “The way we're different is we were built from the ground up to handle the early to middle stages of Alzheimer's.”

        Arden Courts consists of four “houses,” each with 16 half-bath living units. Each house includes a shared living room, dining room, kitchen, full bath, shower rooms and laundry.

        There is a secured area for gardening or other outdoor activities.

        Ms. Hines said it's “like a private residence with 15 bedrooms” (the 16th is for an attendant). “There will be family pictures on the walls, and sofas and rocking chairs.”

        The goal is to help residents participate in everything they still are able to do, such as baking, dusting, gardening or helping with the laundry. Three meals a day will be prepared in a central kitchen, but residents also will be able to use their kitchens under supervision. They won't be able to turn on appliances on their own.

        Residents also can participate in special programs in small and large groups, and in monthly group outings.

        The level of care each patient needs will determine the cost of living at Arden Courts, Ms. Hines said. The cost for patients in the early stage of the disease is about $35,000 a year, she said.

        “Seven out of 10 Alzheimer's patients live at home,” Ms. Hines said. “Providing support for family caregivers is a crucial need.”


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