Construction of memory care facility set for spring in South Barrington
Carol Ringemann styles Evelyn Hart's hair in the Cut and Fluff salon inside the Autumn Leaves of Crystal Lake, a home for the memory-impaired. A similar facility is planned for South Barrington. | John Konstantaras~For Sun-Times Media
Updated: February 11, 2013 6:39AM
SOUTH BARRINGTON — The construction of an Autumn Leaves memory care facility is slated to begin this spring and open for residents in 2014 in South Barrington.
The Texas-based LaSalle Group recently unveiled plans for the 29,000-square foot, $11.1 million facility. Autumn Leaves also has centers in Crystal Lake, Vernon Hills, Bolingbrook and Orland Park, as well as several memory care communities in Texas.
Kay Adkins, director of development for the LaSalle Group, who helped plan the South Barrington facility, said the developers first engaged in detailed demographic research to determine where its next Autumn Leaves facility should go.
“One of the things that makes us unique is we are a stand-alone memory care facility,” said Adkins. “There’s a lot of demand in the area and not a lot of competition.”
The South Barrington location will be built for up to 46 residents. Adkins explained that all Autumn Leaves facilities are designed similarly, with four distinct ‘neighborhoods.’ Each area has a theme to help residents remember where their rooms are located. Each neighborhood has similar carpet, light fixtures and wallpaper.
Jessica Akaah, Autumn Leaves’ regional director of operations in Illinois, said the South Barrington neighborhood themes will be harbor, city, garden and music. Autumn Leaves also provides residents with a dining area, common TV rooms, a beauty salon and other amenities.
“We try to bring in all the services they need,” Akaah said.
Adkins added that the new facility would also feature an enclosed outdoor garden area, so residents can safely enjoys the outdoors.
“They have access to the entire building,” she continued.
Autumn Leaves is fully staffed with nurses and caregivers who are specially trained to care for people with Alzheimer’s and dementia, planners said.
“Everyone in the building is trained to deal with people who are memory impaired,” Adkins said.
If construction commences as planned this spring, the facility should be open in spring of 2014.
“We intend to start (construction) as soon as it thaws,” she said.
While the 20 Autumn Leaves locations nationwide offer some consistency in their design, each also is open to updates and specific accommodations.
“We don’t change the layout but we always want to update the concept,” said Akaah. “We feel that South Barrington is going to be a great location.”
Akaah reported that the Autumn Leaves plans to begin looking for a director for the South Barrington facility about six months prior to opening.