Homestead begins expansion for Memory Care unit
With Alzheimer’s cases on the rise throughout the country, The Homestead Assisted Living facility in Fallon is expanding their Memory Care Unit into the former Lahontan Valley Veterans Affairs building on West A Street.
Renovation began Sunday and is expected to complete by spring said Leah Espil, director of sales and marketing of The Homestead.
Currently, the facility has 12 beds with 24 added.
Memory Care is a unit for individuals with Alzheimer’s and dementia, to protect them from wandering or disappearing. Espil said the facility is currently budgeted for 50 clients but they are over, with many still on the wait list.
“There’s a high demand for affordable memory care,” she said. “All 12 of our beds have been full for the last six months. We’ve been at full capacity for a long time and it can be difficult to help other families.”
Executive Director of The Homestead Ruth Caudill said Fallon’s location provides the most reasonable costs to families in the state, allowing Medicare, and discounts to veterans in the state. The facility also does not plan to rise the costs of patient care once renovations are completed.
“I’ve been in this business for about 20 years and the need for this has quadrupled,” she said. “It’s a serious problem in our era coming to the forefront, with little resources to help and we don’t know why.”
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released data earlier this year and found death rates in the country for Alzheimer’s disease rose by 55 percent over a 15-year period, with 25 percent of patients dying at home.
According to the Alzheimer’s Association, it is the sixth leading cause of death in the country with more than 5 millions people living with it and that number is anticipated to rise to 16 million by 2050.
Although Alzheimer’s is the leading cause of dementia, studies also found rates for dementia decreased during this year.
Espil said the demand for memory care in Fallon also continues to rise.
“We have people from outside of town and the state that stay,” she said. “Most families will wait until the very last second because the feel guilty. We want to hammer out this renovation.”