MERIDIAN -- According to the US census, the percentage of people 65 and older continues to grow. Here in the Gem State, almost 13 percent of people are 65 or older. As scientists continue to learn more about the brain and Alzheimer's, they come up with new ways to help folks with Alzheimer's disease and dementia.

After several years of planning and research, Touchmark in Meridian is about to open a new memory care center.

One of the missing pieces to our campus here was memory care, and so we've been wanting to add memory care for a couple years, said Executive Director Matthew Hoskin.

The facility has three areas, or neighborhoods, of 16 people each. 30 of the 48 units are already reserved, before they even open their doors. Hoskin said this shows the growing need for special care for those with memory problems.

We're all seeing trends that there seems to be a growing need for specialty care for Alzheimer's and dementia care, said Hoskin. And so part of that is to fill that need that's out there for specialty care specifically for those with Alzheimer's and dementia needs.

The whole building was designed with those needs in mind---the colors, lighting, layout, decor, and even the bedroom doors. They had to get special permission from the state for the doors.

Touchmark donated $2,500 dollars to Alzheimer's Idaho to help people outside their facility with the disease.

40 percent of people over the age of 80 have dementia or Alzheimer's, and even mild forms to, of course, much more severe.

The people in the memory care center are grouped by their needs. They will live with people whose condition is at a similar stage.

Touchmark is expanding their staff by fifty percent as they hire on more staff.

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