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New building will bring new answers for a growing challenge

160108 MMC Updated North Elevation

DUNEDIN, Fla. – Mease Manor Retirement Community has broken ground for a new memory care center to serve seniors of Pinellas County and surrounding areas who suffer from Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia or cognitive impairments.

Located just one block from the Mease Manor campus and next to Mease Dunedin Hospital, Mease Manor Memory Care will have 32 private suites. This project provides the final piece to Mease Manor’s continuum of care.

“There has been exponential growth for the past several years in the need for this service,” said Luanne Reese, chief strategy officer for Mease Manor. “We’re very excited about the team of experts we were able to bring together to create something so innovative not seen in this area before.”

The leaders of Mease Manor saw the rising number of older adults in Pinellas County in need of memory support, and wanted a dedicated center to focus on those who could benefit from the care it could provide.

In 2014, the estimated number of Alzheimer’s cases in Pinellas County was 30,972. By 2025, that number is projected to rise to 44,600, a 29.7 percent increase, according to the Florida Golf Coast Chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association.

The new building is scheduled to be completed in the Fall of 2016. The project is being financed by SunTrust Bank. The builder is Terbo Construction, and the architect is Slator and Associates. The 20,000-square-foot building will have many safety and security features, including internal and external camera systems, technology-based personal security for each resident, and total monitoring for the building. The building also will have bathrooms approved as the first of its kind in Florida by the City of Dunedin; it will maximize safety for caregivers and residents with regard to movement in and out of the showers and safety with other activities of daily living.

“The safety of the residents and the people caring for them was one of our top priorities in designing this state-of-the-art building,” said Reese. “We paid extra attention to the details surrounding lighting, types of flooring, safety enhancements, and even the size all of the seating. Mease Manor is proud to be an innovator and a leader in the Tampa Bay Area for those suffering with and those caring for a loved one with Alzheimer’s and other memory impairments.”

Alzheimer’s and related disorders will affect more than 5.3 million people in the United States this year. Alzheimer’s is the sixth leading cause of death in the U.S., and the cost of caregiving can’t be calculated, but many estimates are more than $2 trillion per year.

“We want to make their world a better place,” added Nancy Ridenour, chairperson of the board of trustees at Mease Manor. “The board of trustees is very excited to be part of this innovative process. Many of us today are impacted by family and friends with memory care issues. It will be a great comfort to know that there will be a place right here in Dunedin using innovation and technology to provide the highest quality of care.”

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