During the debate about the proposed assisted living facility on Marco Island, many aspects of the plan have come under scrutiny by the planning board, the council and the public. While these steps are important, I suggest that the main focus now be on the need for such a facility.
As a former caregiver and facilitator of a Marco Island dementia support group for eight years, I can attest to the need I experienced for an assisted living facility on Marco Island: first, in my personal situation and also hearing from the support group members who were vocal about their needs. A major one was for a Marco Island facility that could care for their loved one with dementia when they could no longer be cared for at home.
With no facility on the island, caregivers have had no option but to place loved ones in a facility in Naples or elsewhere. It has meant miles of travel taking many minutes or hours for caregivers to see their loved ones. How much more convenient it would be, if they could visit that special person in a Marco Island facility each day, travelling only a few miles instead of twenty or more.
The need for a local facility is there. Just talk with the facilitators and with members of the two support groups, the one I mentioned sponsored by the Alzheimer’s Association continues to meet at St. Mark’s Church and the second group, sponsored by the Alzheimer’s Support Network of Naples, meets at the Bank of America, both on the island. In addition, check with the Naples Senior Center of JFCS that offers dementia respite care on Marco Island at St. Mark’s Church to confirm that the need exists.
The population asking for local memory care is the one I know. But there are many other reasons for wanting assisted living including physical decline and general aging. While you work out the important legal and planning issues, also focus on the need for such a facility and help it to become a reality.