Alzheimer's, Dementia Center Gets Makeover

By Emily Dwire
By Rachel Martin

June 2, 2013 Updated Jun 2, 2013 at 6:50 PM EDT

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (www.incnow.tv) – It's designed to feel like a home away from home as a center for Alzheimer’s and dementia patients gets a makeover.

"A-Day-Away" adult daycare used to be housed in the Ash Center in Fort Wayne, but now it has its own land, building, and name—Birchwood.

The 10,000 sq. ft. facility was designed to make both the caregivers, and those being cared for, feel as if they're in a safe, comfortable environment.

Birchwood Co-Founder Stephanie Stilabower says she and her partner had been working on this idea for more than a decade, and she's thrilled they made it a reality.

"This is a dream come true. Becky and I have been working on this idea for 11 years at a kitchen table with a notebook, and to have this facility that is memory-loss friendly and caregivers can come in there and feel good about leaving their loved ones. I can't even explain how exciting it is,” Stilabower said.

The home can hold up to 80 adults, which is double the amount the old facility could hold. It features an outdoor garden area and walking path. Stilabower says Birchwood received support from Vera Bradley to make all of this possible.

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