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Loretto to open new memory care unit Jan. 2

Loretto plans to open a new memory special care unit on the 12th floor of Loretto Health & Rehabilitation on Jan. 2 The unit will include music therapy and animatronic pets as part of the Montessori care philosophy that the lives of memory-care residents can be “enriched through engagement in daily routines and activities.” (Photo credit: Loretto)

SYRACUSE, N.Y. — Loretto plans to open a new memory special-care unit on Jan. 2 at Loretto Health & Rehabilitation at 700 E. Brighton Ave. in Syracuse.

The organization said it is taking this step as “the demand for dedicated memory-care services in Central New York has continued to increase, far beyond what our community can currently support,” per its Thursday announcement.

With the support of some grant funding, Loretto has invested $750,000 in renovating an entire floor of its main campus to support the needs of those in the most-advanced stages of the disease.


After nine months of planning followed by three months of construction, the new 12th floor unit will offer 30 individual rooms for long-term, memory-care residents.

The addition of this new unit will allow Loretto to provide dementia care to even more residents while they live “as independently as possible.” Loretto says it has successfully used several of these features over the past three years, since it opened a memory care unit on the 11th floor of the building, before the pandemic hit in 2019.

Loretto says the unit will use what it describes as an “emerging Montessori care philosophy,” with the unit filled with cues and memory supports that enable individuals to care for themselves, others, and their community. Staff in this unit will undergo a detailed training program to prepare the team to deliver this Montessori-based approach to specialized care.

Loretto estimates that more than one-third of residents across its system have a diagnosis of dementia and that number is expected to increase. About 410,000 people aged 65 and older are currently living with Alzheimer’s in New York state and that number is expected to grow nearly 15 percent by 2025.

Additionally, Loretto recently completed a needs assessment of CNY’s aging population and created an action plan to address unmet needs. That effort led to the expansion of Loretto’s dedicated memory-care space to meet the increased demand for dementia services.

Loretto describes itself as the fourth-largest health-care provider and the sixth-largest employer in Central New York. The agency has about 2,500 employees at its 19 locations delivering care to close to 10,000 people of all ages, income levels, and care needs in Onondaga and Cayuga counties annually.


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