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Memory care facility undergoes remodel

Annie Conway
info@nnbw.biz
Arbors Memory Care Community owner Gina Stutchman and resident share a light moment at the facitly.
Photo by Jeff Dow |

Arbors Memory Care Community is an assisted living and memory care community that cares for people with Alzheimer’s and other dementing diseases in northern Nevada. The community recently underwent a more than $500,000 remodel.

The remodel consisted of new flooring, new wall treatments, replacing the lighting to make it brighter, new furniture, motion detectors, interior and exterior cameras as well as new doors and artwork for the building.

The Arbors contracted with the Sparks construction company, Frank Lepori Construction, Inc., as the general contractor to oversee the remodel.

“One of the challenges (of the remodel) was that we still had residents in the building,” Stephanie Hanna, community relations director for the Arbors, said. “We did a lot of small-scale projects so as not to disrupt their lives.”

According to the Alzheimer’s Association, there are more than 39,000 people over the age of 65 living with Alzheimer’s in Nevada. The association projects that this number will continually increase and estimates that there will be 64,000 people with the disease in Nevada by 2025.

“The biggest hurdle we see is the denial that families struggle with when faced with the possibility that they may not be able to care for someone with dementia at home,” Gina Stutchman, an owner of the Arbors said. “I can’t even describe the exhaustion on the faces of families when they finally visit us to see if placing their loved one with us is the right decision.”

The Arbors opened in 1998 and is currently owned and operated by Gina and her husband Jason Lewis. Gina’s parents, Tom and Connie Stutchman, designed, built and operated many senior-housing centers in northern Nevada over the years and Connie is still very involved in the Arbors.

The Arbors has 44 resident rooms, 50 staff members and a 1-to-6 caregiver to resident ratio. While they give 24/7 care, the Arbors is not a medical facility.

Some of the other major senior-care centers include Brookdale Senior Living, which offers four communities in Reno, and are the largest senior living provider in the United States and Stone Valley Alzheimer’s Special Care Center in Reno is a part of JEA Senior Living, which has almost 60 communities.

Being the only memory care community that Gina and Jason own gives them the opportunity to play a very active role in the operation of the business.

“We are definitely breaking the mold when it comes to senior living and care because the Stutchman family has chosen to focus on providing the best care at one location, and on being hands-on owners at the one building,” Hanna said. “It is not uncommon to see Gina in the back helping serve during a meal, or to see Jason leading some men in a putting practice outside.”

The Stutchmans have no plans to expand to more locations.

They are very involved in the Reno/Sparks community. The Arbors is an annual sponsor of the local Walk to End Alzheimer’s, Gina is the board president for Moments of Memory and has also served on the board of the Northern Nevada Alzheimer’s Association.

“I feel grateful that being a small business owner in Nevada means that you can actually participate in shaping your industry in the state.”

According to Gina, operating a 24-hour business combined with the fixed cost of running a 40,000-square-feet building on over an acre of grounds can be daunting.

“When I have frustrations with the operational side of things, I walk out of my office to hang out with my residents,” Gina said. “I love sitting and talking with them or just walking and holding their hand. They have a way of showing you how to live in the moment that the rest of us seem to miss.

“Everything about them is real.”

The Arbors Memory Care Community has received an A grade for the past 12 consecutive years. Communities are assessed annually by the State of Nevada Department of Health and Human Services and can receive a grade between A and D.

“Our A rating from the state is incredibly important to me, and I obviously want to continue to achieve that every year,” Gina said. “I also want to continue to offer a warm and caring home-like environment, with a variety of activities and events to keep our residents emotionally and physically active.”

The Arbors provides many activities for their residents such as art projects, scheduled outings and live music.

The public is invited to learn more about what the community offers and to see the new remodel at an open house on Tuesday, June 23 from 5 to 7 p.m.

The Arbors is located on 2121 East Prater Way in Sparks. Food and light refreshments will be served at the open house.