Cathy Ehley, director of memory care at The Cedars of Austin, shows off the view from an apartment that will soon serve couples. The new apartments are meant for couples in which one person has dementia, but his or her spouse still wants to live in the same setting. Matt Peterson/matt.peterson@austindailyherald.com
Cathy Ehley, director of memory care at The Cedars of Austin, shows off the view from an apartment that will soon serve couples. The new apartments are meant for couples in which one person has dementia, but his or her spouse still wants to live in the same setting. Matt Peterson/matt.peterson@austindailyherald.com

Archived Story

A little more like home: Cedars to offer ‘companion care living’

Published 10:11am Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Long-married seniors often have a tough choice to make when one needs memory care services and the other does not. Either the healthy spouse has to provide constant care in their home, or the couple needs to live apart as the other spouse enters an assisted living home. But The Cedars of Austin hopes to change that.

The Cedars announced Monday it is adding what it calls companion care living, which allows couples to live together after one spouse needs memory care. The Cedars began construction on eight suites — which will take up the entire fifth floor and include all the amenities of a home, with a bathroom, kitchen and living area — and hopes to have the wing open by March 2014.

“It feels like it’s home,” said Lisa Nelson, director of sales and marketing at The Cedars. “But the floor is staffed 24-7, and the [other spouse] can go golf, work or whatever it is, and have the loved one taken care of.”

Nelson said there is a demand for the service, and they already have one couple on the waiting list.

This vacant, fifth-floor room at the Cedars of Austin overlooks downtown Austin.
This vacant, fifth-floor room at the Cedars of Austin overlooks downtown Austin.

“We are excited,” Nelson said. “We’ve done a lot of research, and that is what’s led us to this.”

The Cedars also finished an expansion of its memory care housing in June, although that area is not intended for couples where one spouse needs care and the other doesn’t. The 13 new apartments in June brought the total of memory care units to 36 across three floors.

The fifth floor of The Cedars is currently unused. Nelson said they are taking reservations.

The Cedars, owned by Darrel and Naomi Farr of the Twin Cities, offers memory care, assisted living and independent living. Visit cedarsofaustin.com for more information.


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