Northland News

NCR planning $200,000 project at its Center for Senior Health

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La-Keea Henderson leads clients in stretching execises Thursday, Jan. 9, at the Center for Senior Health at 1700 E. Dublin-Granville Road. National Church Residences, which runs the center, plans to remodel the facility to make it more homelike.

Officials with National Church Residences are planning a $200,000 renovation project at the Center for Senior Health, formerly the Heritage Adult Day Care Center, at 1700 E. Dublin-Granville Road.

In addition, leaders of the nonprofit organization with headquarters on the Northwest Side near Upper Arlington are in the planning phase of creating a new approach to senior health at its campus on North Bank Drive.

The East Dublin-Granville Road location is one of six that National Church Residences operates in central Ohio after Heritage Adult Day Center merged with the larger organization in July 2008, according to Dan Sagan, vice president for home and community services operations.

"Heritage was looking for sustainability," he explained last week. "We felt, as an organization, we really matched what they were trying to accomplish."

National Church Residences, which was founded by the Rev. John R. Glenn and four Presbyterian Churches in 1961, "is the nation's largest not-for-profit provider of affordable senior housing and services," according to the organization's website.

The company maintains 330 communities in 28 states and Puerto Rico, offering supportive housing for the formerly homeless and disabled, adult daycare services, assisted living, senior housing, skilled nursing homes, memory care, rehabilitation centers, outpatient therapy, home health care and hospice.

The six adult day care centers the company took over in the merger currently have their highest enrollment in history, according to Sagan.

"We're serving about 620 people at this point, and there is definitely a growing need," he said.

The East Dublin-Granville Road site serves mostly senior citizens, some with Alzheimer's disease and other signs of dementia, as well as some adults with developmental disabilities. The project there isn't intended to increase capacity, Sagan indicated.

Instead, he said, the idea is to make the former nursery, which Heritage Adult Day Care Centers acquired in 2006, feel "cozier" and more homelike.

"It's kind of a large, open area that we have," he said. "When you walk in the center, it's a bit institutional-looking."

That will all change with lower ceilings in part of the structure, the creation of seating areas and a better flow throughout the building, Sagan added.

"I think, aesthetically, I'm really excited about the plans," he said. "I think they really look great."

The project will include remodeling the office space to provide an area where caregivers can learn more about services beyond daycare.

Work should start in the early spring and take about six months to complete, Sagan said.

In order to disrupt the lives of clients as little as possible, he added, most of the work will be done in the evening and on weekends, although the entrance will have to be moved to the side of the building for a time.

"I do not want hammers and equipment and stuff like that going through the day," Sagan said.

As for the North Bank Drive concept for a different type of senior health center, one with space for physicians as well as physical, occupational and speech therapists, no timetable has yet been established, he stated.

The project will involve moving around some office space for the nonprofit organization.

Sagan said the facility would not be a place where senior citizens are dropped off but rather, one where they are brought for appointments to receive services such as cognitive training to help slow down the symptoms of dementia.

"We're hoping to be a core center, a neighborhood center option, for the aging folks in that area," he said.