Cumberland memory-care facility to open in May

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CUMBERLAND — Lynn Peel hopes The Mooring on Foreside will be a place where those with memory impairment can feel like they’re still living in the comfort of a single-family home, surrounded by friends.

The 12-bed memory care community, which is scheduled to open in May on a wooded, 5-acre lot at 301 U.S. Route 1, plans to depart from the stereotype often associated with such institutions.

The operation branches off Peel’s work as president and senior care adviser with Scarborough-based Beach Glass Transitions.

“We mostly work with people who have dementia, and so for nine years I’ve been hearing people’s wishes, wants, desires, expectations and what they like and don’t like about what’s in the market right now,” Peel said in an interview March 2. “I was given the opportunity to build a place that answered all of those issues.”

There is no age restriction on residency, but a dementia diagnosis is required.

The 8,600-square-foot building, still under construction, will house an open kitchen, living room, and views through every window of the surrounding forest – as Peel said, “a space that is personal and intimate, a true home that’s familiar and comfortable.”

The smaller size of the community should support “the idea that you’re not one of many; you’re one of very few,” Peel said, noting that resident-to-staff ratios will be four to one, allowing the residents to receive more individualized attention.

“A lot of times people are coming from home, where caregivers are family members, and they’re getting a lot of really good one-on-one attention,” she added. “And then they move into a place where there are a lot of people to take care of. I think that’ll feel very, very different (here).”

A recreational therapist will handle daily activity programming, and determine new ways to engage with residents when their abilities change, Peel said. Every resident will receive Beats headphones and an iPod Touch that contains music from their youth, as well as family photos.

“We’re not trying to make a fake home setting,” Peel continued. “This is a house, with just more people living in it, and more functionality.”

The Mooring has started a waiting list for potential residents, who can reach Peel at lynn@themooringonforeside.com or at themooringonforeside.com.

Potential employees can also reach out to her. Peel said she wants “somebody who cares very deeply about quality care for seniors. And we can do the rest of the training.”

Alex Lear can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 113 or alear@theforecaster.net. Follow him on Twitter: @learics.

Lynn Peel will open The Mooring on Foreside, a 12-resident memory care community, on U.S. Route 1 in Cumberland in May.

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A Maine native and Colby College graduate, Alex has been covering coastal communities since 2001, and currently handles Bath, Topsham, Cumberland, and North Yarmouth. He and his wife, Lauren, live in the Portland area, and Alex recently released his third album of original music.