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Waverly Place Assisted Living & Memory Care is the mid-Willamette Valley’s newest senior living facility, and it opened in January off of Salem Avenue SE in Albany.

A grand opening ceremony is scheduled for from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. on Tuesday, and Mayor Sharon Konopa is scheduled to speak and South Albany High School choir students are set to perform.

The home has the capacity for 70 assisted living beds and 21 beds in its memory care community, and officials are touting its modern spaces, as well as high ceilings and large windows that let plenty of light in.

Waverly Place also includes Wellness at Home, an in-home care company, so residents don’t have to leave for therapy or rehabilitation.

“Having Wellness at Home here certainly differentiates us,” said Jill Chuculate-Welch, corporate director of sales and marketing for Ridgeline Management Company, Waverly Place’s parent organization. (Ridgeline has 72 communities nationwide.)

Melanie Bjerke, director of marketing and community relations for Wellness at Home, said that the service will allow residents to stay on site for hospice and end of life care. “This is home. That’s what people want. It’s their comfort,” Bjerke added.

Waverly Place has about 20 licensed practitioners and nurses, including physical therapists, giving it a staffing average that’s much higher than normal, Chuculate-Welch said.

The memory care aspect of the facility is critical, as it’s typically the area of most demand.

“There’s never enough units,” Chuculate-Welch said.

She added that staff use a holistic approach to try to empower residents of the memory care unit and give them more independence. That includes memory exercises such as puzzle games.

“They get excited when they do it right,” said Olivia Washington, resident assistant, as memory care seniors played a matching shapes and colors game as the Winter Olympics played on a television in the background.

The memory care unit aims to give residents a high quality of life.

“These are people who built this country into what it is today. They deserve it,” Chuculate-Welch said.

Waverly Place also includes a movie theater area, a chapel, a hair salon, a workout room, an arts room, game areas, onsite computer-based classes in a cyber cafe and a large dining area where residents can socialize. The goal is to get seniors engaged, and that includes by taking them on field trips to nearby Waverly Lake, Mondays at Monteith concerts or other activities.

“We want to be as integrated in Albany as possible,” Chuculate-Welch said.

While Waverly Place will draw in clients from Corvallis, Lebanon and elsewhere in the Willamette Valley and Oregon, most residents will be from Albany. “People who live in Albany want to stay in Albany,”

Waverly Place Assisted Living & Memory Care is at 2853 Salem Ave. S.E. For more information, call 541-990-4580.

Kyle Odegard can be reached at kyle.odegard@lee.net, 541-812-6077 or via Twitter @KyleOdegard.

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Business Reporter

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