Memory care center ready to open

Facility invites the public to tour, learn about treatments

By Cami Joner, Columbian retail & real estate reporter



The Hampton at Salmon Creek

• What: A 43-unit memory care facility for seniors diagnosed with memory issues such as Alzheimer’s.

• Where: 2305 N.E. 129th St., Vancouver.

• Cost: $8.5 million.

• Developer: Koelsch Senior Communities, Olympia.

• What’s next: Ribbon-cutting and open house, 3 to 6 p.m. Thursday.

• On the

A new memory care facility called The Hampton at Salmon Creek will welcome its first residents in December now that construction work has finished up on the $8.5 million complex.

Owner Olympia-based Koelsch Senior Communities will host a ribbon-cutting and open house from 3 to 6 p.m. Thursday, providing tours of the 43-unit facility at 2305 N.E. 129th St. in Vancouver's Salmon Creek area. The center is designed for 68 residents diagnosed with memory issues such as Alzheimer's. Visitors can also learn about the company's philosophy of care for people with dementia, a general term for loss of mental abilities severe enough to interfere with daily life.

Caused by physical changes in the brain, Alzheimer's affects more than 5 million Americans. The number is estimated to reach 7.1 million by 2025, as baby boomers -- those born between 1946 and 1964 -- age, according to 2013 figures published by the National Alzheimer's Association. But Alzheimer's is just one type of illness that affects the memory.

"There are over 72 types of dementia, of which Alzheimer's is one," said Claudia Wilson, a spokeswoman for Koelsch Senior Communities.

Wilson said programs at The Hampton at Salmon Creek are carefully designed to promote wellness, nurture and provide enrichment opportunities to residents, based on research and study of aging adults who have memory loss.

Features of the secure facility include room for physical activities, such as an enclosed walking area and courtyard.

"We also have exercise sessions every day," Wilson said. "That (exercise) is a biggie. It slows the process of dementia."

The Salmon Creek complex is also built with extra-wide hallways and features 25 semi-private and 18 private rooms. Care will include 24-hour, on-site, licensed nurses. Koelsch expects to hire about 65 to 70 employees, including 13 nurses, when the center is fully occupied.

Living costs for residents fall in a range of between $4,250 to $6,600 per month, depending on the level of care needed.

Most assisted-living care is paid out of pocket, as Medicare does not cover it. However, many baby boomers are opting to take out full or partial long-term care insurance plans to cover the costs, and some veterans are also eligible for benefits.

Koelsch operates centers in Arizona, California, Idaho, Montana, Texas and Washington, where The Hampton at Salmon Creek is the company's eighth complex. The company is developing two additional centers, expected to open in 2014 in Fort Worth, Texas, and in Fresno, Calif.