Heritage Woods of Sterling has received approval from the Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services (HFS) to develop an affordable memory care community that will operate under the Illinois Supportive Living Program.

The memory care community will be developed on property adjacent to Heritage Woods of Sterling on Oak Grove Avenue. The community celebrated its 10th anniversary earlier this year.

“We are honored to be one of the 40 new supportive living dementia care sites to receive approval from HFS,” said Jeremy Yost, who represents the ownership of Heritage Woods of Sterling. “There is a tremendous need in the Sterling and Rock Falls area for an affordable memory care community that can serve older adults of all incomes.”

The state approved the development of 40 private apartments on the Heritage Woods of Sterling campus.

“Everything about the memory care community — from the apartments and community areas to the staff, services and activities — will be designed to meet the special needs of individuals with Alzheimer’s disease and related dementia,” says Yost.

The ownership group would like to begin construction as soon as possible.

The Illinois Supportive Living Program was developed in 1996 to provide older adults and adults with physical disabilities with an appropriate alternative to a nursing home. The program emphasizes personal choice, dignity, privacy and individuality.

Heritage Woods of Sterling is one of 152 communities in Illinois that are certified to operate under the Supportive Living Program. The communities are located in more than 70 counties throughout the state. Only five of those community are currently approved as supportive living dementia care settings.

The Heritage Woods of Sterling supportive living community features 76 private studio and one-bedroom for older adults who need some help to maintain their independence.

Residents of Heritage Woods of Sterling are able to receive the help and assistance they need to maintain their independence. Each of the apartments feature a kitchenette, spacious bathroom with grab bars and shower, individual heating and air conditioning and an emergency alert system. Three meals a day plus snacks, housekeeping and laundry services are included.

Certified staff is on-duty 24 hours a day seven days a week.

Residents also benefit from all of the opportunities that are available to socialize with family, friends and neighbors and to participate in a wide variety of social, recreational, educational and wellness activities.

“Our emphasis is on providing residents we the love, compassion and dignity they deserve in addition to the help and assistance they need” says Rod Burkett, Chief Executive Officer of Gardant Management Solutions, the company that manages Heritage Woods of Sterling.

Based in Bourbonnais, Illinois, Gardant operates 40 of the 152 supportive living communities in Illinois.

The company operates White Oaks at Heritage Woods of South Elgin, which is one of the current supportive living dementia care settings approved by the state. The company also operates memory care communities in Huntley, McHenry and South Elgin, Illinois; Noblesville, Indiana; Berlin, Maryland; and Williamsburg, Virginia.

“In the memory care communities we operate, our focus is on providing residents with opportunities to maintain a sense of purpose and belonging in all seasons of dementia,” says Burkett.