A new assisted living and memory support facility is about to welcome its first residents and hopes to provide a little relief in what is a growing senior community in Colorado and the Grand Valley.
Cappella of Grand Junction will welcome its first tenants Oct. 9 into a 58,000-square-foot senior living home that cost more than $10 million to build. The construction has been going on for more than a year at 628 26 1/2 Road.
"There's a real light at the end of the tunnel at this point," said Chris Connery, sales and marketing director for Cappella of Grand Junction.
The organization is a third-party management division and recently took over a living facility for seniors in Steamboat Springs and is getting ready to open another in Colorado Springs. Cappella is a for-profit arm of the Colorado-based Christian Living Communities, which has four senior living facilities on the Front Range.
Cappella Grand Junction will have 40 assisted living units and 26 memory care units that range from studio apartments to two bedrooms. Prices range from $4,190 to $6,850 per month for assisted living apartments and $6,430 to $6,830 per month for memory care units. The units vary between 327 and 884 square feet.
Residents have access to a restaurant and bistro for three meals per day, a salon, transportation services, therapy and several larger gathering spaces.
The memory care center includes daily living assistance, including medication and support for family members.
The facility can house a little more than 70 residents and the hope is to help fill a growing need for senior housing in the Valley.
"It's a growing area and a place that is desired by people to live in that area. We saw a real need coming for that," Cappella COO Jill Vitale-Aussem said.
Cappella was created by Christian Living Communities to manage operations on property owned by developers. The Grand Junction location is owned by Confluent Development.
Despite its for-profit status, however, staff says that the facility will be run with the same values as CLC.
"What we focus on is the possibilities that come with aging," Vitale-Aussem said, adding that the company focuses on how seniors can give back and ways for growth for both residents and staff.
The Grand Junction location will be run by Executive Director Sarah Winnefeld, who had worked in the senior living industry on the Front Range, competing with organizations such as CLC. She said CLC had a "secret sauce" that she wanted to learn about when she accepted the job.
"It turns out that CLC not only has an amazing resident-focused philosophy that they truly enforce, but they also back it up with innovation and cutting-edge technology that simplifies the workload and increases the quality of life for residents, staff and families," she said.
The need for facilities like this in Mesa County has been growing of late and Dave Norman, regional representative for the Area Agency on Aging, noted this is the first such site to open in Grand Junction in a few years.
Norman noted there are 31,000 people over the age of 65 in the Grand Valley. That number is expected to increase to 39,000 in 2030 and 42,000 in 2040. While many people prefer to stay in their homes as they get older, he said places like Cappella will become more important.
"It's something that the community can use and absorb," Norman said. "It will be nice addition to the community."
According to Norman, there's approximately 20 facilities in the county and he doesn't know of any immediate plans to build more. However, places like Cappella, especially with its memory care services, help keep seniors in the Grand Valley rather than lose them to other communities.
"That is sorely needed in this area," he said. "We're having to have people sent to Denver area for that service."