For Immediate Release Media Contact:
May 1, 2013 Jeff Dezen
864.233.3776, ext. 11
CLEMSON DOWNS RETIREMENT COMMUNITY ANNOUNCES DEVELOPMENT OF UPSTATE’S “FIRST-OF-ITS-KIND” MEMORY CARE AND PRIVATE SKILLED-NURSING UNITS
Clemson, SC — Clemson Downs, Clemson’s only full-service retirement community, is expanding. The Board of Directors of Clemson Downs has approved the construction of two new resident-centered care units, the first of their kind in the Upstate: a new stand-alone, “small-house-model” memory care unit and a private skilled nursing expansion. “We have been working toward this ground-breaking expansion for the last three years, and we are excited to be able to announce that we now have started design and construction activities,” said the Board Chairperson, Sandra Smith. According to Smith, the Board has authorized the hiring of a developer and architect and has approved preliminary plans for the $8 million additions. Opened in 1980 as the Clemson-area’s first and only Continuing Care Retirement Community (CCRC), Clemson Downs provides a spectrum of care that includes Independent Living, Assisted Living and Skilled Nursing residences, programs and services.
The new expansions represent a strategic addition of much sought after Private Skilled Nursing residences and a “level of care” that was not even defined when Clemson Downs was opened. The “Memory Care” component is sometimes also referred to as “Dementia” or “Alzheimer’s” care facilities. These accommodations are specifically designed and programmed for residents living with the effects of dementia and other issues related to cognitive function. The new center will serve 32 residents in a “home-like” setting. Each resident will enjoy private accommodations, 24-hour care and daily experiences designed to cater to their special needs. At last count, the region only provides limited accommodations for specialized memory care, yet the need for such highly specialized care continues to rise. “The research has shown that residents with cognitive disease and decline need and respond favorably to accommodations that are specifically designed to address their diagnoses,” according to Dr. John LeHeup, the community’s Executive Director. “CCRC’s across the country are adding these accommodations in an effort to better serve their residents. The Board of Clemson Downs identified this need several years ago and has worked diligently to position the organization to address this need at this time,” LeHeup added.
Clemson Downs has engaged Cornerstone Senior Living, LLC, of Augusta, GA, to plan and coordinate the development of the project. They have also engaged FW Architects, Inc., of Florence to provide design services. Both firms have extensive experience in successful senior living planning and design engagements. “Clemson Downs has a long and distinguished record of offering quality services, programs and facilities to promote wellness and healthy aging,” according to Mike Harris, President of Cornerstone Senior Living, LLC. “The addition of these new facilities and services is a natural extension of this community’s commitment to excellence and an on-going dedication to improve the quality of life for every resident, current and future.”
Dennis Ward, President of FW Architects, Inc., and the lead designer on the project, said, “I am particularly delighted to be working on this project since I grew up in Clemson and got my training at the Clemson University School of Architecture. Clemson Downs is a great campus, and the additions of these new services will complement their already sterling reputation.”
The project is in the early stages of planning. Clemson Downs expects to file the necessary applications and notices with the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) within the next few weeks. Financing and construction are anticipated to take place later this year with opening slated for late 2014. For more information on Clemson Downs, contact Jackie Cleveland at (864) 654-1155.
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More on Clemson Downs:
Clemson Downs—the only Continuing Care Retirement Community (CCRC) in Clemson, South Carolina— provides for its residents a continuum of care, including Independent Living, Assisted Living and Skilled Nursing services. Since its opening in 1980, “The Downs” (as the community is fondly known) has afforded its residents personalized, spacious apartments, complemented by a professional staff focused on each individual’s physical and mental well-being. The 38-acre, tree-lined campus provides a serene, beautiful neighborhood environment, ideal for building friendships and enjoying engaging programs, enriched by the intellectual, athletic and spiritual resources of nearby Clemson University. For more information, visit: clemsondowns.com or call 864.654.1155.