By Molly • Molly Walker • 

Fircrest adding new building, services

Gray is simultaneously developing The Cherrywood, a 56-bed memory-care facility, behind the the Wilco Farm Stores outlet and McMinnville Toyota dealership on Doran Drive. RB&R is also serving as general contractor on that project.

The FirCrest addition will feature a first floor of just over 13,000-square-feet, divided into 28 units, and a second floor of 11,000 square feet, divided into 16 larger apartment units.

The facility will also feature a lobby, laundry, elevator, kitchen, nurses' station, secure outdoor recreation area, dining and activity room, and living and activity room.

According to Denise Stoutenberg, a former FirCrest administrator serving as manager on the projects, the second floor is designed for independent living. This will add the option for those who want to live near loved ones, even though they themselves may not need Alzheimer's care services.

They are meant to be totally independent, so don't even include meal service. They will feature secure access, however.

Currently, FirCrest offers 52 Alzheimer's care residences and 29 assisted-living apartments, so the addition will significantly expand its capacity.

The bottom level is designed to offer a very high level of care. It is designed for individuals who have some form of dementia who have been evicted from another memory care or Geropsych unit, Stoutenberg said.

"It's designed to be a place these people can go and live and have a normal life without being in a hospital," she said. "That's very exciting to me."

In many cases, said Stoutenberg, who has worked in dementia care since 1998, a person has to be barred from a lesser-level facility due to impulse control issues that cannot be adequately managed. The ground-floor units in the new addition are being designed with that kind of person in mind, she said.

Stoutenberg said Cherrywood is scheduled for completion around Thanksgiving and the new FirCrest addition by the end of December.



This IS exciting. I cared for my grandmother with Alzheimer's for several years and became very familiar with three different Yamhill County facilities. If you've met one person with Alzheimer''ve met ONE person with Alzheimer's. The residents' needs are vastly different. Their behaviors are vastly different. I always worried about where she would go if her behavior became so erratic that she'd be evicted from a traditional memory care facility. Thankfully we didn't encounter that, but I know it's a reality for many loving families.

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