120-year-old nonprofit A.G. Rhodes (www.agrhodes.org) operates three nursing homes in Cobb, Fulton, and DeKalb counties. The nonprofit provides long- and short-term care, therapy, and rehabilitation services to more than 1,100 underinsured, underserved, and other metro Atlanta seniors each year. More than half of its residents are estimated to have Alzheimer’s or other forms of dementia.

On June 14, the Marietta location (900 Wylie Road) opened its new skilled nursing and memory care community, including a $37.5 million, 75,000-square-foot “household-model” building designed for 72 residents living with dementia, plus renovation of its existing building with 58 residents. Both buildings will feature private rooms; the transformed community will feature a community kitchen/dining room, living room, sunroom, gardens, and remodeled rehab gym.

This community is a change from the traditional hospital-like design of most long-term care nursing communities, and is designed to be a model that other nursing homes can use to create and improve a person-centered model of care, convert double rooms to private rooms, and prepare for potential infectious disease outbreaks.

A.G. Rhodes CEO Deke Cateau, certified dementia care trainer and educator, said, “I am beyond excited to see what was just a vision in 2017 become a reality today as we celebrate the opening of this memory care community that is transforming what it means to live well during all stages of life. And I am truly humbled at the support we have received from the community to make this home a ‘home’ for those we care for and have become our family.”

Sharon Mason, Cobb County Chamber of Commerce president and CEO, said, “The Cobb Chamber is thrilled to continue supporting A.G. Rhodes with the opening of their model senior memory care community in Marietta. A.G. Rhodes serves a critical need, and this facility will help them expand their outstanding support services even further in our community.”

Metro Atlanta is one of the country’s fastest-aging regions (Atlanta Regional Commission), and 1 in 5 women and 1 in 10 men will be diagnosed with dementia in their lifetime (Alzheimer’s Association).