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More senior housing planned

Terri Harber
Appeal Staff Writer

An $8.5 million development that would provide housing to seniors with a variety of needs is being planned in Carson City.

The Long Street Group Care Facility would be an 81-unit structure on the north side of Long Street between Rand Avenue and Russell Way. The 1.89 acres is south of the area where the Boys & Girls Club of Northern Nevada is constructing its new buildings.

“Residents will have varying levels of acuity,” said Jeff Parker, principal of Vista Construction, a firm in Eugene, Ore., that specializes in senior assisted living and retirement communities. “They might come in with a few problems, but their needs will increase over time.”

About one-quarter of the units are to be set aside for occupants suffering from dementia or Alzheimer’s disease and the rest of the units would be for seniors simply requiring help with day-to-day living.

Ongoing health monitoring is part of the program, though medical care isn’t.

It’s described as an assisted-care facility and will offer studio, one-bedroom and a handful of two-bedroom units ranging in sizes from 260 square feet to 735 square feet. There will be maintenance, full meal service, housekeeping and laundry, and help with daily living needs – such as dressing, bathing and taking medications.

While the assisted-living residents would be able to come and go on their own if desired, the memory residents would not. A shuttle service would be available to take residents places, such as to doctors’ offices.

It’s a style of housing that would be of use to the community as its senior population continues to rise. Not everyone has relatives who can help take care of them, said Janice McIntosh, director of the Carson City Senior Citizens Center.

“Most important is that it provide good-quality care, with enough staff to go around,” McIntosh said. “People can then age in place, as opposed to being moved around, which adds to a senior’s quality of life overall.”

The special-use permit for the project has been approved by the Planning Commission, but other permits need to be processed. If construction plans stay on track, work at the site could begin in October and be completed by August 2008, Parker said.

“It’ll be too late to build these facilities if we wait until the baby boomers hit that point,” McIntosh said.

• Contact reporter Terri Harber at tharber @nevadaappeal.com or 882-2111, ext. 215.