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Making History Once Again with New Memory Care Unit

Strategic Communications has helped Loretto to open a Memory Special Care Unit in Syracuse, an entire Memory Life Community in Jamesville, and celebrate milestone anniversaries for Central New York’s first-ever dedicated memory care facility. On February 7, 2024, we were honored to support the opening of the Memory Special Care Unit at The Commons on St. Anthony in Auburn.

Loretto has been providing comprehensive memory care services for those in need for more than 30 years, and the development of this unit in Auburn is a response to the growing need for dementia and Alzheimer’s care in the region. According to the New York State Department of Health, more than 410,000 people in New York State are living with Alzheimer’s, and that number is expected to grow to 460,000 by next year. To further bring that impactful statistic into perspective, 22% of that population (around 90,200 people) live in Onondaga and Cayuga counties, where Loretto provides services.

This redesigned unit provides a new home for 40 long-term memory care residents, offering the most innovative dementia care services, environment, and technology – allowing individuals to live as independently as possible. It features imagery, design, and technology that soothes and supports those with Alzheimer’s and dementia. The space feels more like a neighborhood than a nursing home as Loretto’s approach to memory care encourages residents to contribute to their community.

This Memory Special Care Unit is the first of its kind in Auburn, focused on meeting each resident’s individual needs based on the complexity of their disease by employing the holistic Montessori Method approach that’s successfully helping residents living at Loretto Health & Rehabilitation in Syracuse. Loretto is one of only two long-term care facilities utilizing this approach statewide.

By providing people with choices, encouraging independence, and playing to existing skills and strengths to engage residents, the method helps people living with Alzheimer’s and dementia find purpose, meaning, and foster connection with others.

With support in grant funding from the Mother Cabrini Health Foundation and the United Way of Cayuga County, the development of this new Memory Special Care Unit took six months of planning and three months of construction to complete. The grand opening was covered by media in Auburn, Syracuse, and throughout the Finger Lakes; and media across the region continue to request Loretto’s expertise in memory care and innovation.