Memory care center proposed for Mishawaka

MISHAWAKA, Ind. -- An empty field in Mishawaka could soon be home to a memory care center. The center planned for Day Road would help care for patients of dementia and Alzheimers.

Andre Fisher's mother-in-law suffers from memory loss and lives at Hearth Senior Home in Granger. He says she's close, but he'd like to have her closer.

"It probably would up our visiting hours by double," said Fisher. "So if we go twice, three times a week--we might go every night for 5 minutes and say 'Hey lets go see Mom and see how she's doing.'"

What would also be nice is knowing that his mom is getting the specialized care she needs by a staff intensively trained for memory care. Those involved with the project say, if approved, they hope to break ground by February.

"The building is going to be built around a courtyard area, very secure outdoor courtyard where the residents will have their own gardens and be able to go out and enjoy the outdoor activities,” said Dane Slabaugh of True North Group LLC.

If approved, the facility would be the area's only stand alone memory center.

"There's 11,000 people who turn 65 each day, there's about 5 million memory care patients in the country today," said Slabaugh. "That need is increasing as our elderly population increases as well."

Residents say an increase in traffic is their number one fear, but they’re glad it isn’t going to be a convenience store.

"Now we know what might be happening, what's coming to us instead of maybe a 7-11 or a gas station or whatever. This is a lesser of two evils so to speak,” said neighbor Ralph Hilbish.

The neighbors agree that of all the possible things to be developed in the area, this fits well.

"I think it's going to fit the neighborhood environment because it's called the Forest and we hope the tree line stays there,” said Hilbish.

"I think every facility that we have that's more specific to whatever the needs of the person is great and I even encourage it to be on my block,” said Fisher.

The developer said the board of zoning appeals and the planning commission will be voting on Tuesday. If approved, the facility will bring 40 new jobs to the area including maintenance workers, administrative help, cooks and nurses. 

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