As the nation’s population continues to age, the need for care for seniors with Alzheimer’s or dementia is growing, including here in Johnson County.
The fourth new senior care facility in the Center Grove area in the past five years is planned to help meet that demand.
Ellipsis Partners, a Carmel-based real estate company that specializes in health care projects, is planning to construct a 27,000-square-foot memory care facility on a nearly five-acre property west of State Road 135, north of Stones Crossing Road. The facility, to be named Grand Brook Memory Care of Greenwood, will have room for 36 residents with illnesses that impact their memory and ability to care for themselves.
When looking for a location to build the facility, the company researched Johnson County demographics, using data about the prevalence of Alzheimer’s and other illnesses to determine that there was a need for additional memory care services in the area, company representatives said.
Construction of assisted facilities has been on the rise in Indiana, largely due to the Baby Boomer generation reaching the age of needing this type of care, said Zach Cattell, the president of the Indian Health Care Association. Indiana currently has 45 assisted living facilities in the pipeline waiting to be licensed, he said.
“The short answer is we are getting older across the country,” Cattell said.
In Johnson County, the facility will be one of at least four in the Center Grove area that have opened in recent years. Last year, the 100-unit assisted living facility, Demaree Crossing, was built off Honey Creek Road in the Center Grove area. In 2014, Aspen Trace opened an assisted living facility in Bargersville along State Road 135, south of where Grand Brook is planned. And in 2013, Bickford Senior Living built off of State Road 135.
The challenge for assistant living facilities is that they are filling up and having to turn people away, said Kim Smith, the director of Johnson County Senior Services. She cited a recent expansion at Aspen Trace as an example of how the market for these services is moving faster than developers had anticipated.
Construction on Grand Brook is planned to begin later this spring or early summer, with the facility being complete by the summer of 2019, company representatives said.
Before the facility can be built, the Johnson County Plan Commission will need to give the developer approval to not follow construction rules in place for buildings along state Road 135, Johnson County Planning Director David Hittle said. The facility is planned to have cement-fiber siding rather than the brick, stone or glass walls that the county prefers, and will be slightly shorter than buildings in the area are expected to be.
The standards are in place to ensure a uniform look to buildings along State Road 135, but the changes the developer is requesting wouldn’t conflict much with existing business nearby, he said.