A SouthPark day center for adults with memory loss will expand to an overnight facility after a south-Charlotte widower donated money in honor of his wife, who had Alzheimer’s disease.John Moore, founder and former owner of Moore Electric Supply, donated $400,000 to The Ivey so the nonprofit could purchase an adjacent 0.75-acre lot. “We are so excited and so blessed and grateful for what he has done,” said Lynn Ivey, founder and CEO of The Ivey. “It’s just amazing.”Founded in 2006, the nonprofit memory-care day center is dedicated to serving individuals with memory loss and their families.The Ivey provides activities, socialization and medical care during the day. It also provides services including education, support and resources to family caregivers. Members return to their homes at night.The organization serves about 60 families regularly but helps more than 750 families each year through outreach programs, said Ivey. The Park South Drive property The Ivey purchased for its expansion originally was intended for a five-story hotel last summer by K&P Development.Residents, The Ivey and nearby Brighton Gardens assisted-living facility all opposed the land’s use as a hotel because of the project’s high density. They also did not think the property blended well with the area’s large population of young children and elderly adults.The Charlotte City Council struck down the project, leaving the land vacant for the last several months.The Ivey closed on the property Sept.30. It plans to build two licensed family care homes with six beds each, for adults with memory loss.Preliminary project cost estimates range from $3million to $4million. The group plans to raise the money through donations, and groundbreaking will take place after the entire cost of the project has been raised, staff said.“Since the health of caregivers often suffers, one of the homes may be devoted to short-term stays for loved ones so that caregivers can enjoy a few days off to rest or visit grandchildren,” said Ivey.Moore said he first learned about The Ivey when he was searching for nursing facilities for his wife, Brenda Saunders Moore.Moore said he was discouraged by his tour of nursing facilities in the area, saying that he didn’t find them uplifting.He also was upset that Alzheimer’s patients often were separated from other elderly patients at nursing facilities, saying that “separate doesn’t mean equal.”“Then I went to The Ivey, and everybody looked happy, which was of particular interest to me,” Moore said. “The facility is just phenomenal as far as look and feel. It looks like a mountain lodge. It was terrific.”But elation over finding the facility turned to disappointment when he learned The Ivey provides only day services.He suggested to Ivey that she should convert the facility to overnight care, to which she jokingly replied, “I will if you will help me purchase the property next door,” he said.Ultimately Moore, 73, kept his wife in at-home care. She died June11 at age 71.Shortly after, Moore was driving down Park South Drive when he noticed that the property adjacent to The Ivey still was for sale. He suddenly thought of a way to honor his wife and help the facility, he said.“I love The Ivey and I want to honor Brenda,” Moore, a Foxcroft resident, said. “Alzheimer’s disease ran rampant in her family, as it does in so many others.… It’s imperative we look after people who have this terrible illness.”Moore told Ivey he wanted to donate money to help her expand. “We were so suprised and grateful,” said Ivey. Moore has reserved the naming rights for the new facility, although he doesn’t know what the name will be.He said he’s thrilled that his wife will be honored in a way that also will help other families affected by Alzheimer’s disease.“There are two lives affected: the victim and the caregiver,” he said. “As far as the caregiver is concerned, if you can get the patient comfortable, then the family and the caregivers are able to find comfort themselves.”
Wednesday, Oct. 09, 2013
SouthPark adult day care to expand
Arriero: 704-358-5945; Twitter: @earriero
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