Arbors increases capacity for Alzheimer's patients

The Arbors memory care facility in Sparks has seen a 10 percent rise in occupancy over the last 12 to 18 months, a sign that more families are feeling secure with their financial status and their ability to foot the hefty costs of dependent care, says owner Gina Stutchman-Lewis.

With the rise in its number of dementia/Alzheimer's patients, Arbors added 10 beds to its assisted-living facility at Vista Boulevard and Prater Way. Much of the increase came through establishing triple-occupancy rooms that have a lower all-inclusive pricing option of $3,950 a month 48 percent less than the cost of a private room.

Stutchman-Lewis created the lower price point as a way to keep some patients from moving to lower-cost nursing homes when the recession hit in 2008. She got 12 new patients the first 10 weeks the plan was in place, she says.

"People are kind of getting over the fear factor and shock of the downturn," she says. "So many people who felt financially secure the past 20 years all of a sudden had that warm cocoon yanked off of them, and nobody wanted to commit. With the triple occupancy, I am able to compete price-wise with the cost of a non-dementia-care group home, and it broadened my market substantially."

Arbors maintains a six-to-one ratio in patient care, so the rise in occupancy has meant bringing on additional care staff, Stutchman-Lewis says. Arbors has hired between 10 to 15 employees over the past 18 months, she says.

Arbors is owned by Stutchman-Lewis, her brother Brent, and mother Connie, who co-founded the facility with her husband, Tom.


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