Maplewood Senior Living announced it will bring the first memory care residence to Darien when it completes its $16 million assisted living community at 599 Boston Post Road. Slated to open in summer 2012, the 51,000 sq.-ft. Maplewood at Darien will offer 29 assisted-living apartments and 37 memory care and dementia apartments.

More than 5.4 million people are living with Alzheimer's disease, according to the Alzheimer's Association. In Connecticut alone, there were 70,000 people reported in 2010 ages 65 and older with Alzheimer's disease. As a member of the board at the Alzheimer's Association of Connecticut, Maplewood Senior Living chairman and CEO Gregory D. Smith is attuned to the impact that dementia can have upon families.

"Maplewood Senior Living is committed to providing specialized care that can ease the burden on individuals and their families," Smith said.

"Maplewood at Darien will provide the specialized care that those who live with Alzheimer's disease and dementia deserve."

In Darien, Maplewood Senior Living will undertake a $10 million dollar renovation to transform a former nursing home on the site.

The first floor will provide formal dining, a library and other common areas for socializing, with apartments on the second floor dedicated to serving those with memory impairment, and an assortment of studio and one-bedroom assisted living apartments on the third floor.

Designed by Norwalk architecture firm Stein|Troost, the renovation includes construction of a two-story light court in the building's center and a complete transformation of the property's exterior. Seniors will enjoy walking trails through a full-acre park on the grounds.

In addition to Maplewood Senior Living's existing communities -- Maplewood at Danbury, Maplewood at Orange and Maplewood at Newtown -- the company will open Maplewood at Strawberry Hill in East Norwalk in the spring of 2012 and will complete Maplewood at Darien in the summer of 2012. The company continues to consider expansion opportunities throughout the northeast.

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Maplewood Senior Living operates three assisted living and memory communities in Connecticut. Professionally-trained staff provides care and attention to residents with Alzheimer's disease and dementia.

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