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November 30, 2017

$14M Holbrook Memory Care residence opens at Piper Shores

Photo / Maureen Milliken
Photo / Maureen Milliken
Piper Shores CEO Jim Adamowicz speaks to assembled guests at Wednesday's ribbon-cutting ceremony for the three-story 30-unit Holbrook Memory Care and Assisted Living complex in Scarborough.

The new Holbrook Memory Care and Assisted Living residences at the Piper Shores adult living complex in Scarborough has impressive statistics — 43,000 square feet, 30 new apartments, a $14 million cost and 18 months in the making.

But Piper Shores CEO Jim Adamowicz said the three-story building, and the philosophy behind it, is more about the needs of the 300 residents of the 138-acre residential complex.

As the population at the retirement community increases, the addition was necessary to meet their needs and the emphasis was on doing it in a way that was best for those residents.

"The focus is on health services, but in ways that promote social interaction, promote family interaction," Adamowicz said after a ribbon-cutting ceremony Wednesday.

Piper Shores, on 138 acres in Scarborough nestled in the woods between Prouts Neck and Higgins Beach, has 160 independent living apartments and 40 cottages, as well 40 skilled nursing beds and 20 assisted living apartments. The new building adds 14 memory care apartments and 16 more assisted living apartments, as well as common rooms and areas for fitness, crafts, cooking, reading and indoor gardening. The new building will increase the staff on the campus by 30, to 240.

Wednesday's ceremony drew representatives from the offices of Maine's congressional delegation, local dignitaries and scores of Piper Shore residents.

Maine demographics point to need

Photo / Maureen Milliken
Photo / Maureen Milliken
The new $14 million Holbrook Memory Care and Assisted Living apartment complex at the Piper Shores adult living complex in Scarborough has 43,000 square feet of space and 30 new apartments.

The memory care center is designed to tackle one of the most pressing problems facing the state's aging population — dementia, Alzheimer's and other cognitive issues that increase with age. According to a 2012 study by Maine's Department of Health and Human Services, the state had 37,000 individuals living with Alzheimer's and dementia at the time of the study, a number expected to increase to 53,000 by 2020. One in eight people aged 65 and older has Alzheimer's disease, and Maine's 65-to-74 age group is forecast to grow by 77% in the 10 years following the study.

Dealing with the aging population and the challenges that confront it have been in Piper Shores' plans for some time, Adamowicz said.

"It's long been a dream to have this level of care here," he said.

Piper Shores, which opened in 2001, is the state's only nonprofit lifecare retirement community, and its residents range from those who are fully independent to those who need assisted living and full-time care.

The board of directors approved the expansion in 2015 and "continues to focus on the growing demand for senior living," according to a news release that accompanied the ribbon-cutting.

"The new building is one way that the community is addressing increasing demand as well as securing the organization's long-term financial sustainability," the release stated, adding that Piper Shores, while a nonprofit, is the largest taxpayer in Scarborough.

Community effort in the design

Courtesy / Piper Shores
Courtesy / Piper Shores
A view showing the interior of the new Piper Shores Holbrook Memory Care and Assisted Living facility in Scarborough.

The new center is largely for the residents already on campus, but will also have spaces for people who live elsewhere in the greater Portland area. The campus has a two-to-seven-year waiting list for its independent living cottages and apartments.

Staffers for three members of Maine's congressional delegation — U.S. Rep. Chellie Pingree, D-1st District, and U.S. Sens. Susan Collins, R-Maine, and Angus King, D-Maine — read statements praising Piper Shores' new facility as an invaluable resource for Maine's aging population.

Also planned for the campus is a 2,800-square-foot arts center, scheduled to open in December, and open to Piper Shore residents of all age ages and abilities.

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