A new Alzheimer's-, dementia- and memory-care facility in Worthington should be fully open by the first part of October, and it is starting to accept reservations for residents, according to the executive team running the facility.

Greg Cini, owner of the Kemper House in Worthington, said a free preview is scheduled from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 8. He said it would be a "hard-hat type of walk-through" because half of the building is finished and the other is not.

The Kemper House is a 55,000-square-foot facility on the northeast corner of Proprietors and Dublin-Granville roads, with 55 private and shared residences that will serve those in need of memory care. Cini said rates start at $5,200 per month and go up to $7,200 per month.

He said the first two residents would move in Sept. 9, and they would be the only ones until the end of the state licensing period in October, when the facility would open for more residents. The licensing procedure involves state workers making sure the facility is equipped and authorized to operate as a care facility, he said.

Cini said the timeline should not change.

"We don't see that changing," he said. "With construction, there's a lot of moving parts, but it's all coming together."

In terms of staffing, Cini said, the facility has positions on the resource team, as well as nurses and other staff members, filled.

The Kemper brand has other locations, in Highland Heights and in Strongsville in northeast Ohio.

He said staff members from those facilities have been helping the staff at Worthington gear up for the licensing period and training.

"One of the great things is that Kempers have been caring for people with dementia for the last 40-plus years," Cini said. "Betty Kemper opened one of the first Alzheimer's-care units in the nation and was really a pioneer in this."

Cini said Kemper House also would focus on outreach for the community.

"We care most importantly about the people between our walls, but also on the outside," he said.

Dan Thorward, executive director of the Kemper House, said he was working as the nurse manager for the ICU at the Ohio State University's James Cancer Hospital when he met Cini during an outreach event and decided to join the team.

"For me, it was mostly things that align with my own personal mission and values," he said.

Thorward said Kemper House will focus on implementing healthy lifestyle changes rather than just treating Alzheimer's.

He said the facility also would serve farm-to-table, healthful food, and all residents will have a fitness plan built into their programs.

"Those types of things were so important to me," he said.

Thorward said even the physical layout is designed to help treat memory-care patients and is laid out for the way patients might want to walk.

"Things like are not something you would find in a nursing home that's retrofitted," he said.

He also said Kemper House would have rooms available so that spouses could move in with their loved ones so they don't have to be separated.

He said everyone on staff, from the chefs to the cleaning crew, has completed intensive training to help care for those with Alzheimer's.

"We train the whole staff," Thorward said. "Everyone is a caregiver."

Construction on the facility started last September, Cini said.

For those who are interested in the Kemper House, Cini said, the information center is open 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays in a former Harding Hospital building 445 E. Dublin-Granville Road.

Cini also said appointments may be requested for weekends. For more information, call 614-681-8330 or go to kemperhouse.com.

ominnier@thisweeknews.com

@ThisWeekOlivia