The Alzheimer's Association says more than 450 Monongalia County residents have a known Alzheimer's diagnosis. That means there is a big need for specialized care.
Mapleshire Nursing Home and Rehab Center in Morgantown is going through some major renovations and soon will be the only local Memory Care unit in the area. By next fall the building will have two new wings and the inside of the building will look completely different.
The groundbreaking ceremony on Tuesday was the first step towards a better facility for Mapleshire. More than 25,000 square feet of space is being added on to the building.
"We'll be adding an Alzheimer's unit of 24 beds private and semi, transitional care unit, which is short term stay, and that's 24 private rooms and private bath," said Sonia Bailey-Gibson, the Administrator at Mapleshire. "And then we'll have 72 long term car for Hospice and palliative care as well as just long term care for dementia patients."
Congressman David McKinley spoke at the ceremony. McKinley's mother suffered from dementia. He said the dementia and Alzheimer patients hold a special place in his heart.
"We need to look after our most fragile and vulnerable individual. We've experienced of our own family, and with a show of hands, about half the people have experienced that in their family," McKinley said. "This is a wonderful opportunity for people to stay, their family members can be in Mon County and in this region to take care of them."
After the renovation is complete, Mapleshire will also have a new activity room, a bigger exercise room, and more rehabilitation space. Staff will also have more room to be able to care for more patients.
"Over the years we were only able to get up to 104. So now we'll be able to utilize all 120," said Bailey-Gibson. "And with the current market requiring more private rooms and space, this addition allows us to do that."
The staff at Mapleshire says that the renovations are to be completed by next Fall and they hope that they will be at their full capacity of 120 patients by then.