Lone Tree retirees will soon have a new place to call home as the completion of the MorningStar Senior Living at RidgeGate draws near.
The new facility will offer three options for seniors depending on their individual needs, including 124 independent-living apartments, 71 assisted-living apartments and 29 secure suites in the memory-care wing.
“We have the perfect location for an urban community,” said Cindylee Bennet, director of community relations for MorningStar at RidgeGate. “We have all the amenities around us.”
Located across the street from both the Lone Tree Arts Center and new Lone Tree library, the facility is also within walking distance to shopping and restaurants, a few blocks from Sky Ridge Medical Center and a short drive to Park Meadows mall.
For those requiring more individualized attention, a secure memory center provides a specialized wing for residents with memory impairment or dementia.
The wing has its own dedicated garden. And, according to Bennett, MorningStar does not cut back on the “feeling of home” because residents in the memory care wing might not “need” some amenities.
“The design of the apartments in the assisted living and memory center is the same as the rest of the facility for the consistency of all the residents and their families,” Bennett said.
For the safety of residents, kitchens in the memory centers are not equipped with cooking appliances such as microwaves, ovens or stovetops.
According to 2015 U.S. Census numbers, 14.7 percent of Lone Tree’s population is 60 or older. By 2030, about one in four residents countywide will be 60 or older, projects the Douglas County Senior Initiative, a partnership of Douglas County government agencies.
Construction on the RidgeGate facility began in February 2015 and is scheduled to be completed in time for a grand opening in December. Bennett anticipates that a majority of new residents will move in right after the New Year holiday.
More than 60 percent of the independent living apartments have already been reserved, and the company is keeping its sales office open seven days per week to accommodate interest. Monthly rents range from $3,075 to $6,600.
MorningStar operates 18 facilities in seven states in the Rocky Mountain region, and the RidgeGate residence is the newest of 11 senior living facilities along the Eastern Slope from Colorado Springs to Fort Collins. The company is also opening a new facility in Phoenix in 2016 and recently broke ground on another senior living complex in Aurora.
Bennett also said that with opening day approaching, MorningStar at RidgeGate has started its search for qualified staff to fill a variety of roles from maintenance workers and caregivers, to restaurant staff and a concierge.
“Working with seniors requires a calling, and we hire for heart,” Bennett said. “We can train for most jobs, but finding people with the right heart is key.”