*Published on Jan. 5, 2021

Alzheimer’s Orange County’s (AlzOC) in partnership with the County of Orange and Fairview Developmental Center has recently been approved to open a 50-bed care facility at Fairview Developmental Center in Costa Mesa for dementia residents who are COVID-19 positive, but either have mild symptoms or are asymptomatic and do not require hospital-based care.

The short-term facility is set to open on December 28 for the first 25 residents and will be staffed 24/7 with LVN lead team members and caregivers with dementia training. The capacity will expand to 50 beds should cases continue to increase.

The facility will accommodate individuals with dementia who are positive for COVID-19 who do not require significant medical care but who need to be kept apart from other residents at their residential care facility.

Assemblywoman Cottie Petrie-Norris, who represents California’s 74th Assembly District – Costa Mesa, Laguna Beach, Laguna Woods, Newport Beach, and portions of Irvine and Huntington Beach, played an integral role in getting the facility approved.

“When Dr. Chau informed me that our dementia and memory care facilities were facing a COVID-19 crisis, I immediately called on the California Department of Developmental Services to help find a solution to care for Orange County’s most vulnerable patients,” said Assemblywoman Cottie Petrie-Norris. “This is a great example of how nonprofits, the County and the State can work together to serve and protect our community. Thank you to Alzheimer’s Orange County for managing the care of our COVID-19 and dementia residents and working so hard to prevent further spread during this deadly pandemic.”

“During this difficult time, we are using our expertise and experience with those living with dementia to care for vulnerable, frail seniors and those living with memory loss who now are COVID-19 positive,” said Alzheimer’s Orange County CEO and President Jim McAleer.

“We want to assist our hospitals by reducing the strain of taking care of these patients. It is our hope that our temporary facility will lessen demand for hospital beds, helping free them up for other people in need,” said Chairwoman of the Orange County Board of Supervisors Michelle Steel, Second District. “It is crucial that we care for the vulnerable in our community at the appropriate level to focus health care workers and resources where they can be most beneficial.”

“The Department of Developmental Services (DDS) is glad to help provide critical space at Fairview Developmental Center for individuals who have dementia and are COVID-19 positive to help reduce the burden on area hospitals. Alzheimer’s Orange County and Assemblywoman Cottie Petrie-Norris have been incredible partners, in addition to the other state and local entities involved in making this happen,” said Nancy Bargmann, Director of the Department of Developmental Disabilities.

Statistics show that 80 percent of those who have died from COVID-19 are 65 and over, with older adults living in long-term care facilities at particular risk.

For questions about admission, contact covid@alzoc.org

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