Woodlands Senior Living of Farmington opens

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Matthew Walters, chief operating officer of Woodlands Senior Living, welcomed guests, including Gov. Paul LePage, to a grand opening celebration Tuesday at the new Woodlands Senior Living of Farmington Memory Care facility. Behind Walters from left, are LePage, Farmington Town Manager Richard Davis, facility owner Lon Walters, and Ben Tucker of Sen. Angus King’s office.

FARMINGTON — A grand opening celebration for Woodlands Senior Living of Farmington was held Tuesday ahead of a five-day open house beginning Wednesday.

The first memory care facility built for that purpose in Franklin County will open to guests Monday, said Matthew Walters, chief operating officer.

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The open house for the community will take place from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sept. 27, through Sunday, Oct. 1, he said. People are welcome to tour the 20,000-square-foot facility designed to serve 36 patients at 175 Knowlton Corner Road.

This is the seventh memory care residence among Lon Walters’ Woodlands Maine facilities and the 12th senior living community in Maine, Matthew Walters said.

The site was an empty field two years ago when Walters first visited. A groundbreaking was held Sept. 9, 2016. Now, the memory care center is opening and ground work for an adjacent nursing care facility is underway.

“Keep building,” Gov. Paul LePage said at the grand opening ceremony.

LePage acknowledged the services needed locally in smaller towns where the people being cared for can be near their loved ones.

He told a story about a woman who spent each day visiting her husband, who no longer knew her, for over three years. She came to help him, LePage said. The woman told LePage that she walked to the facility every day. She could not have done that if the facility were not so close, he said.

Introducing LePage, Walters spoke of the governor’s commitment to Maine seniors.

LePage helped increase MaineCare rates for most of the people the facility will serve, Walters said. 

Maine officials are considering legislation to help keep Maine seniors safe from exploitation and to help them remain in their own homes as long as they are able, LePage said. 

“We are an aging state,” he said.

Right now, 27,000 people in Maine are dealing with the effects of some form of dementia, said Laurie Trenholm, executive director of the Maine chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association. That number is expected to climb to 35,000 by 2025.

That number represents 69,000 family members providing $78 million in hours of care.

One in seven people 45 and over experience confusion and memory loss. It interferes with their lives, yet most fail to tell their doctors, Trenholm said.

She congratulated the Walters’ organization for providing the best in staff training to care for people in its memory care centers.

Town Manager Richard Davis welcomed the local health care facility, one with a long history — “over 20 years’ experience developing and operating Memory Care communities in Maine,” according to Woodlands, which is based in Waterville.

Lon Walters expressed appreciation to the town for the welcome and help provided through the project. The town has a 10-year tax-increment financing agreement with Woodlands.

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Gov. Paul LePage attended a grand opening celebration Tuesday at the Woodlands Senior Living in Farmington Memory Care facility. Behind LePage, from left, are Farmington Town Manager Richard Davis; facility owner Lon Walters; Ben Tucker of Sen. Angus King’s office; and Matthew Walters, chief operating officer of Woodlands Senior Living.

Farmington Town Manager Richard Davis welcomes Woodlands Senior Living of Farmington Memory Care to town Tuesday during a grand opening celebration. Behind Davis, from left, are Gov. Paul LePage, Ben Tucker of Sen. Angus King’s office, facility owner Lon Walters, and Matthew Walters, chief executive officer of Woodlands Senior Living.

Woodlands Memory Care of Farmington held a grand opening celebration Tuesday. Guests and staff gathered with owners for a traditional ribbon-cutting. From left are Elliot Thayer, civil engineer; Peter Bethanis, architect; Karen Staples of Rep. Bruce Poliquin’s office; Gov. Paul LePage; Lon Walters, owner; Matthew Walters, CEO; Farmington Town Manager Richard Davis; Laurie Trenholm, executive director of Alzheimer’s Association, Maine chapter; David Walters, Senior Spec Construction; Ben Tucker of Sen. Angus King’s office; and Marcie Barnes, administrator of the new facility.

People are welcome to visit the new Woodlands Memory Care of Farmington at 175 Knowlton Corner Road during a five-day open house from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 27, through Sunday, Oct. 1.

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