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Memory care facility opens in Oak Lawn

  • Written by Dermot Connolly

grace point place photo 5-17
 

                                                                         Photo by Dermot Connolly

Grace Point Place, a 66-apartment memory-care residential facility, recently opened at 5701 W. 101st Street in Oak Lawn.

 

Residents will begin moving in later this month to Grace Point Place, a residential facility for people with Alzheimer’s disease and other types of dementia, that recently opened in Oak Lawn.

Hundreds of people attended the May 3 open house for the two-story complex at 5701 W. 101st St., described as an Anthem memory care community. During tours of the first floor, visitors were able to check out the living arrangements, which include one- and two-bedroom suites, as well as “companion suites,” with two beds in one room. All the suites, ranging from 300 square feet to 485 square feet. have private bathrooms with walk-in showers.

An open lounge area features comfortable chairs, big-screen TVs and an air hockey table and a piano. The first floor also includes a dining room and patios with tables in the enclosed atrium. Candle-making and some of the other arts and crafts and other activities available for residents were also demonstrated.

Grace Point Place is designed to exclusively serve people diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease or another form of dementia, and executive director Cortney Malinowski said social and therapeutic activities for each ability level will be offered. The facility also offers clinical services, hair care, and technology-based tools and programs.

The common areas are designed for safe freedom of movement, and according to the information available on the website, there is a state-of-the-art monitoring system in place for the residents.

Michael Zywicki, the executive director of a similar Anthem memory care facility that recently opened in Glenview, was among the officials conducting tours during the open house.

Zywicki said that while families often assume their loved one would prefer being in a single room, once they move in, they see the benefits of having a “roommate” in one of the “companion suites.”

“A lot of people are used to living with someone, and they are inclined to encourage each other to get involved in activities. Not only that the cost is less, but when families come to visit and they see their loved one has made friends with someone, the two families agree to move them into a companion suite,” Zywicki explained.

“It seems like a wonderful place. They really thought of everything, as far as engaging the residents with all sorts of activities,” said Roseann Keller, of Oak Lawn, who was there with friends considering Grace Point Place for a family member.

“I think it’s very impressive,” added Keller, whose friends sought her advice because she is a retired nurse and hospital chaplain.

“This is the type of place that is really needed in the south suburbs. You can see that it is a first-rate operation. We’re excited to have it here in Oak Lawn,” said Mayor Sandra Bury.

“It is not the sort of place you like to think of needing for a family member, but it is good to know it is here,” she added.

Grace Point Place is built on land sold by the adjacent Southwest Chicago Christian School. When the memory care center was first proposed more than two years ago, many residents of the surrounding neighborhood argued that it would not be a good fit beside their one-story homes. However, Anthem officials said being in a residential neighborhood was ideal for Grace Point residents.

Some of the opponents visited Grace Point Place during the open house to see how it turned out. One of the vocal opponents, who did not want her name used, said she still would rather have seen it built on 111th Street because it would be easier for visitors to find. Many visitors during the open house also parked on side streets because of the limited space in the parking lot, and they said that could be a problem on holidays as well.

But even the opponents agreed that the building itself looks nice and has a residential feel that fits into the neighborhood.

“There is no doubt it is a nice-looking building, inside and out,” said one woman, adding, “It looks pricey.”

More information about Grace Point Place may be obtained by visiting the website at gracepointplace.com or calling (708) 290-3255.