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New elderly care center planned


It will have a billiard table, a beauty parlor, suites with private baths, and a lounge with a bar and bartender. But the Annapolitan won't be a plush resort or five-star hotel when it opens in October. It will be Anne Arundel's newest elderly care center.

Nestled in the woods just off U.S. 50 east of Annapolis, The Annapolitan Care Center is designed to serve 100 elderly in permanent housing and day care. Already, the developers have had inquiries from 70 potential residents.

Jay Test, president of The Annapolitan, said he expects plenty more because of the rapidly increasing elderly population in the county. "We're really getting older," he said as led a tour through a special care unit that is still under construction.

In the last 15 years, the number of county residents older than 60 has nearly doubled, from 38,537 to 60,128, according to the county Department of Aging. It is expected to grow to 92,751 by the year 2010.

The developers, who are spending $8.5 million to convert the defunct Capers restaurant into The Annapolitan, are responding to this expanding, and profitable, market, Mr. Test said.

But they have company. Another adult day care center is expected to open in the county in the fall and three others already have opened.

Unlike its competitors, however, The Annapolitan includes three stages of care -- day care, assisted living and specialty care.

The owners said this will enable their residents to stay at the center as their needs increase without having to pack up their bags and familiarize themselves with a new center.

The assisted living section is a dormitory-style building with private baths, a library and kitchen for the "ambulatory, but frail population who might need assistance with dressing, hygiene or cooking, but don't need help getting from point A to point B," said Steve Cohen, vice president of The Annapolitan.

The specialty care unit, used primarily for those with symptoms of Alzheimer's disease, will house about 30 elderly who need 24-hour supervision and medical care.

There are two or three staff members for each resident, and the surroundings designed to make the residents feel comfortable, Mr. Test said.

For example, the walls and carpets in each section of the building will be painted separate shades of lavender with slight bumps to help residents suffering from dementia understand their location.

At the day care center, open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., the elderly can garden, play bingo, cook, listen to seminars, watch movies or occasionally take field trips.

The day care is $55 a day. The assisted living costs an average of $67 a day, or about $1,450 a month, including meals and laundry. Specialty care prices rise to $2,525 a month.

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