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Willows Garden Memory Center Opens In New Rochelle

Mayor Noam Bramson; Donald Duberstein, Rita Mabli, and Anthony Nardozzi, United Hebrew of New Rochelle
Mayor Noam Bramson; Donald Duberstein, Rita Mabli, and Anthony Nardozzi, United Hebrew of New Rochelle Photo Credit: Contributed

NEW ROCHELLE, N.Y. -- Care of seniors affected by Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias has taken a leap forward with the opening of Willow Gardens Memory Care, a residential facility at United Hebrew of New Rochelle.

The 51-bed, two-story home is the first non-profit assisted living center in Westchester County designed exclusively for individuals with memory impairment. It opens as the region, and the nation, prepares for a growing wave of people affected by dementia, propelled by longer life spans.

According to the Hudson Valley Chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association, more than 40,000 people in the Hudson Valley have Alzheimer’s disease, and the number is expected to climb to 50,000 by 2025.

“With the need so great, there is an increased demand for quality care for this segment of our population,” said Rita Mabli, president and CEO of United Hebrew. “Willow Gardens provides that care that has been meticulously planned so that life for its residents will be fulfilling and enriching.”

She emphasizes the importance of creating an environment that eases the frustration that comes with dementia and helping residents live the lives they want.

Research shows that Alzheimer’s is less jarring and easier to cope with when people affected by it spend their days among others with similar conditions. At Willow Gardens, residents live in proximity to those with similar levels of memory impairment; which research also shows is key to maintaining and enhancing a person’s quality of life.

It will be run by Executive Director Sallie Carlin, a certified recreational therapist with more than 25 years of experience caring for residents with memory loss.

“The key is to keep the residents engaged with activities that are tailored to their lives, and to respect their dignity while offering them choices,” Carlin said. “As part of that, we get to know their life stories so that we can offer them the activities they will enjoy.”

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