Assisted living center to open soon Rose Hill would be second available in Odenton area

February 06, 1996|By Tanya Jones | Tanya Jones,SUN STAFF

Odenton soon will have another assisted living center when the developers of Piney Orchard add a 15-unit group home to the village center area off Piney Orchard Parkway.

The $500,000 Rose Hill at Piney Orchard should be complete this summer, said officials with Constellation Health Services, a subsidiary of Constellation Real Estate Inc., the community's developer.

It is part of a plan for the village center that includes a recreation center, with a pool and exercise facilities, that has been built and retail stores, offices and a small park.

The one-story assisted living center will have a central common area with a dining room, and a wing on each side will house the one-bedroom units. Rents will start at $2,700 a month, said Bill Brown, vice president of development for Constellation Health Services.

Odenton is home to one other assisted living center, Fernbrook Manor on Monie Road, where monthly costs start at $1,450, according to the Maryland edition of the "Guide to Retirement Living."

The centers, where residents are helped with daily activities such as bathing, dressing and eating but not provided constant nursing care, are the fastest growing category of senior housing, said Steven Gurney, publisher of the guide, a reference periodical.

The number of group homes licensed by the county has increased nearly six times, from five to 29, in the last seven years, said Michael Banscher, assisted housing program director for the county Department of Aging. "That suggests that the need is there," he said.

Since 1990, the number of county residents over 60 has increased from about 12 percent of the population to 13 percent, county Department of Aging statistics show.

"Many of these people, we call them frail, are in need of assistance, but they are not sick so they don't need 24-hour nursing care," said Patricia McGarty, special assistant for planning and administration in the Department of Aging. Assisted living programs are a convenient step between total independence and constant nursing care, she said.

Constellation officials hope residents of Piney Orchard, which eventually will have about 4,000 homes, will provide clients for the home.

"The people that live in Piney Orchard that have elderly relatives might want to live close to them," said Robert Strott, senior vice president of Constellation, a subsidiary of Baltimore Gas and Electric Co. "There has been a need demonstrated for these kinds of facilities. This has been a phenomenon that has taken place in the last several years. A lot of people don't belong in nursing homes. They need some assistance, but they are not immobile."

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