Assisted living center planned; caregivers say need high locally

A new assisted living center is planned in Greenwood, and caregivers for seniors in Johnson County say the need for services is increasing with an aging population.

NexCore Group, a real estate developer, plans to construct an assisted living and memory care facility east of State Road 135 at 1255 Demaree Road on 10 acres of previously undeveloped land.

Construction on the single-story, 100 unit facility to be named Demaree Crossing should be complete by the end of the year, said Meridian Senior Living regional director of operations Chanin McElroy.

A growing Greenwood population, as well as lack of recent construction of assisted living facilities in the area were some of the reasons she cited for the company starting the project.

The facility will have about 70 assisted living units and 30 memory care units and will employ about 70 people, McElroy said.

All city board approvals have been given and the developer has received a building permit, Greenwood Planning Director Bill Peeples said.

An aging population in Johnson County and across the country is expected to contribute to a greater need for similar facilities. The number of Johnson County residents age 65 and older is projected to rise by about 15,000 by 2030, according to Indiana Business Research Center demographer Matt Kinghorn. The new assisted living facility joins at least five similar facilities on that stretch of State Road 135, including one built just four years ago.

Bickford Senior Living built in 2013, located on Stella Street off of State Road 135, was the most recent senior living facility constructed in Greenwood, Peeples said.

With 42 assisted living units, the facility was at max capacity just six months after it opened, Bickford Community Relations Director Rhiannon Flynn said.

The need for assisted living services is in high demand in Johnson County. Bickford Senior Living is 90 percent full now, she said.

“There are a lot of them coming because it is becoming a need,” Flynn said.

One major need is specialized care, such as memory care units, designed to provide specific care for people suffering from dementia or Alzheimer’s, which Demaree Crossing will offer.

“We definitely have a need for memory care,” Johnson County Senior Living Executive Director Kim Smith said. “The issue is on the rise throughout the country. We are even seeing more cases in our county.”

The need is similar in other areas of the county as well. For example, at Morning Pointe in Franklin, of the 65 assisted living units, 15 of which are for memory care, only two are vacant, Executive Director Lisa Holstein said. Most of the residents are from Johnson County, she said.

Morning Pointe also has a waiting list for studio-sized apartments, she said.

“I would say there is an increased need for seniors who can no longer remain at home,” Holstein said.

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Jacob Tellers is a reporter at the Daily Journal. He can be reached at jtellers@dailyjournal.net or 317-736-2702.