The Ivey memory care day center in SouthPark may soon see a five-year dream come to fruition thanks to one man’s wish to honor his late wife.
John Moore, whose wife, Brenda Saunders Moore, died from Alzheimer’s in June, recently donated a sum of money to The Ivey so the center could purchase nearby land on Park South Drive. If the city approves a rezoning petition for the project, The Ivey will add two licensed family care homes with a total of 12 beds for adults with memory loss after suggestions from Moore and others who have relied on The Ivey to help their loved ones.
“It definitely has been the dream, a vision, that we would be able to find the best way to expand our services,” said Lynn Ivey, the center’s founder, speaking the day after The Ivey purchased the land. “We have been in business for five years … and we have served so many families who ultimately leave us seeking more permanent, long-term stay and we’ve had families over the years say, ‘Please, if you only had overnight (care) so I could go out of town for a weekend,’ or ‘If you only had a place for mom to stay, this would be perfect.’”
Ivey had long wished to expand her center onto the spot, and recently saw Charlotte City Council deny a
proposed hotel project for the land. But she didn’t envision having an opportunity to purchase the land anytime soon until Moore came to her looking for a way to help families who experienced what he and his wife went through with Alzheimer’s.
“I love The Ivey and I want to honor Brenda,” Moore said in a news release. “Alzheimer’s disease ran rampant in her family as it does in so many others. Brenda lost her mother, two younger sisters and several aunts to Alzheimer’s. It’s imperative we look after people who have this terrible illness.”
Moore contacted The Ivey two years ago about finding care for his wife, but he and the center decided it wasn’t the right place for her due to her advanced condition. Moore stayed in touch, and recently contacted Ivey after his wife’s death looking for a way to honor her and thanking Ivey for staying in touch. Moore learned about the adjoining land, donated the money and said, “let’s talk about what you want to put on it,” Ivey said.
“I’d really like to express an incredible feeling of gratitude to our donor for supporting The Ivey’s mission and wanting to honor his wife in this way, because without him this would absolutely not be possible at this moment,” Ivey added. “He’s a generous and very kind man. I know it gives him some joy to be able to honor his late wife.”
The two new family care homes will add to The Ivey’s ability to help patients who need short-term, overnight care so their caregivers can have a few days for rest or to travel. The homes will include the same mountain lodge environment as The Ivey, as well as everything else the center offers.
“The Ivey will be the cornerstone of what I’m kind of calling the Little Village,” Ivey said. Along with her center and the planned family care homes, the area also includes the Brighton Gardens assisted living center. “Because the homes will be right there with The Ivey, people will have the same medical oversight of our registered nurse team, and all the activities and therapies we offer today inside The Ivey will be a part of what the people who stay there experience in their everyday programming.”
The project will have to go through the rezoning process over the next few months, but Ivey has high hopes for approval from city council and support from the community. Ivey estimates the project will cost as much as $4 million, all of which will be raised through private philanthropy.
Find more information on the center at its website, www.theivey.org.