When Solon resident Frank Tinus’ mother had to be placed in a facility with multiple levels of care due to her worsening dementia, options were limited in the city, he recalled.
“What I found was that it would be valuable to have my mom in a place where there were multiple levels of care,” he explained. A place that could establish a “file,” on her, he continued, so she could be moved to different stages of care as her conditioned progressed.
His choice was to move her, at 80 years old, to Grande Village Retirement Community in Twinsburg, a facility similar to a senior living complex proposed for Solon offering independent and assisted living, memory care, as well as hospice and respite services.
A hearing took place on Tuesday in regards to a proposal to build a senior living complex in Solon on Kruse Drive. Developers Omni Property of Beachwood is requesting that the 5 acres of land be rezoned from C-1 (historic commercial) and C-2 (restricted commercial) to R-3-A (senior citizen residential). The proposal was vetted at a public hearing this past Tuesday of the Planning Commission. Council would have to put the issue before voters on a ballot.
The complex would include housing for residents aged 50 or older ranging from independent living to assisted living to memory care.
Mr. Tinus and others talked to the Times before the Tuesday hearing. He said that he had looked at Emerald Ridge of Solon, which offers assisted living and senior housing, but lacked the specialized units his mother needed, he said.
Mr. Tinus’ mother remained at Grande Village until she passed away four years later at 84. She had fallen and broken a hip, and then the dementia worsened following that, so she was moved back to nursing care, he explained.
Mr. Tinus, a 25-year city resident, said he would favor Vitalia, a senior housing complex proposed for about 5 acres near the intersection of Kruse Drive and Bainbridge Road.
“When the time comes, if I find myself to be in the position my mom was at the time we took her to Grande Village,” he would favor something like what is proposed in Solon, he said
Mr. Tinus said he would be in support of the rezoning for the complex, which developers hope to have placed on next May’s ballot.
“They will have Independent living, but when the needs get higher, they will have assisted living,” Senior Services Director Jill Frankel explained. Vitalia is also ideal for couples who want to remain together in a facility but one needs assisted living and the other does not.
“I think it sounds wonderful,” Solon senior Barb Maniker, 75, said of the proposal. An 18-year-resident, Ms. Maniker has never been married and has no children.
She said she has a cousin in Philadelphia who lives in a facility similar to the proposed Vitalia project.
“I’m single and this would be perfect for me if I could afford it,” said Ms. Maniker, who is retired from the investment business.
She said she definitely wants to hear more about it. “It sounds like a great idea.”
Solon resident Bob Mordarski, 81, said he has not yet seen plans for Vitalia, “but we do need senior housing whether it’s there or someplace else.”
Carrington Court, independent living apartments for residents ages 55 and older on Aurora Road, is at capacity.
Mr. Mordarski and his wife Marge just downsized their home, remaining in Solon. They went from a four bedroom Colonial to a three bedroom ranch, he said, which needs a lot of work.
“We wanted to stay in Solon, but we didn’t have a choice,” Mr. Mordarski said. “In talking to those in it (Carrington), 90 percent are happy. They don’t’ have to worry about cutting grass” or other house maintenance, he added.