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Cottages opens for residents

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The Cottages at University Place, a new senior care facility located at 5417 64th St. W., hosted a ribbon-cutting ceremony on April 12. Surrounded by colleagues from parent company CarePartners, members of the U.P. City Council, Mayor Javier Figueroa, and other local business owners, the ceremony was held in front of the moving sculpture facility’s outdoor courtyard despite Wednesday’s unpredictable weather system.
The Cottages at University Place specializes in a form of long-term care called Memory Care, which handles memory related maladies such as Alzheimer’s and dementia. The concept was originally developed by Bill Moore from Roundlake Properties and Joe Kilkelly from CarePartners Management Group. The goal was to create a dementia care community that looked more like a home than a barracks.
“After much research of what other communities offered,” said Marysusan Iotte, executive director of CarePartners Living, “they came up with the cottage concept. The three cottages with the expansive courtyard fulfilled their goal.”
The ceremony was highlighted by a few speeches from leaders of the community and executives of CarePartners. Among them were president and CEO of the Tacoma-Pierce County Chamber Tom Pierson, who also served as the host of the event. Pierson shared some of his own experiences about the challenges of placing a family member into assisted living as well as his appreciation for the new facility tackling an ever-growing need for memory care in the area. Figueroa also spoke, formally welcoming the new facility to the city and sharing some history with attendees about his participation on the Council for Aging.
The Cottages at University Place makes a distinction between being an exclusive memory care facility versus just a standard senior care assisted living facility. “Although assisted living communities may have memory care units on the premises, the two types are not synonymous,” said Iotte. “Memory Care is a distinct form of long term; skilled nursing that specifically caters to residents with Alzheimer’s, dementia, and other types of memory problems. Unlike assisted living these individuals need a secure area with highly skilled, specialized care team members to see them through their decline to end of life.”
The City of University Place is looking to The Cottages to help provide both a positive economic and social impact on the community. “[The Cottages are] a good thing because it provides another housing option that the city needs,” said Mariza Craig, executive director of the city’s Economic Development office. “It fills a need that the community desperately needs demographically speaking. [CarePartners] did a really good job on the design. We’re most excited that it will employ between 30 and 35 people, which is a great win for the city.”
“Memory Care is a big need and yet it is not all that we can support,” said Iotte. “We support the local Senior Center by sponsoring some of their activities. Loved ones can come to us to ask for guidance in looking for the right place for their family member. We may not be the best fit, but we can give you other options that will work.”
The Cottages at University Place are currently taking deposits and developing their wait list. For more detailed information about the facilities, visit

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