OPTIONS FOR AGING
By Kristy Deer
NEW PALESTINE — She’s known around Hancock County as the horse lady. Since 1959, Rosie Faut has been working with young women, teaching them all she knows about horses on her farm in New Palestine. At 86, Faut admits she’s slowing down some, but she’s not quite ready to head to a nursing home just yet. Instead, she’s considering leaving the farm and moving into Woodland Terrace of New Palestine, a senior living facility that will soon open its doors to residents 55 and older.
The facility, 4400 Terrace Drive, just east of U.S. 52 and County Road 600W, will offer independent- and assisted-living residences and an advanced memory-care center. Construction on the facility, which will have room for more than 130 residents, is underway, and the first units are expected to be available in late fall.
The entire $18.6 million project, which is being developed by Justus Senior Living Communities, will be completed in late spring or early summer 2017 and is expected to employ at least 40 full-time workers earning an average of roughly $41,000, along with 10 part-time workers, according to project plans.
The new facility, the first of its kind in New Palestine, will help meet what locals say is a growing demand for housing for seniors with a range of needs, from those needing a little daily assistance with chores to those requiring regular check-ins and stand-by medical support. Those services are something local officials say will become increasingly important in coming years as Baby Boomers reach retirement age.
The number of people age 50 and older is on the rise nationally, according to the U.S. Census. In Hancock County, the number of residents 85 and older has doubled since 2000, census data shows.
The New Palestine project is the second of its kind to break ground in Hancock County in recent months. In McCorsdville, construction is underway on a 125,000-square-foot senior living facility expected to be complete at the end of this year or in early 2017.
Once Woodland Terrace opens, residents will be able to choose from a host of services depending on their needs, and the assisted-living facility will provide a licensed nursing staff and an emergency response system around the clock.
The development, which received approval from the town council in June 2014, has been lauded by locals as a positive addition to the area.
Faut, one of many local seniors who showed up for a recent presentation about the development at Greenfield Banking Co., said the location is ideal.
“It’s a lovely place to build something like that,” Rosie said. “It’s close to so many things but is sitting off the road, away from things.”
Sitting on over 13 acres, the community will have a pedestrian-friendly setting, complete with walking trails, a lake-view terrace, wooded perimeter and community garden.
Company president Walter Justus said every aspect of Woodland Terrace is built to provide the highest-quality senior lifestyle options, personalized care and services to its residents. Social events will be held regularly for residents, Justus added.
In addition to having a fitness center with certified trainers, the facility will offer wellness programs for residents as well as access to a beauty salon, barber shop, day spa, library, business center and chapel, Justus said.
Prices to live in the community will start around $1,700 per month for a 1,200-square-foot cottage and about $3,150 per monthly for assisted-living studios. Single-occupancy suites in the memory-care center will start at $5,750 per month. Prices include utilities, cable, Internet, concierge service and 24-hour maintenance.
Models of the cottage homes are scheduled to be built by late June, so residents may tour them prior to the facility’s opening.
Cole Stites, executive director of the facility, said several residents have already invested in their future homes.
“Already having some deposits, that speaks well of the Justus Companies,” Stites said. “People are familiar with the kind of construction we offer and the professional services we provide.”