The Life Steps Foundation began a new chapter in its history with a groundbreaking ceremony celebrating construction of its new Santa Maria Wisdom Center — a comprehensive adult day care center for medically frail, elderly adults living with disabilities and those diagnosed with dementia or Alzheimer's disease.
The April 8 groundbreaking marked the start of construction on the brand-new 9,500-square-foot facility, which will be complete with a full-service kitchen, 6,000-square-foot day and activity room, a physical therapy room, support offices and treatment rooms.
The new center is expected to open its doors in mid- to late August and will be located at 2255 S. Depot St. The center currently operates at 1414 N. Broadway, Suite A.
Project designs also include 1,000 square feet of a secure outdoor patio and recreational area that has been designed with 500 square feet of the space covered, so it still can be used during inclement weather, a Life Steps spokeswoman said.
"We're very excited that construction has begun," said Linda Gabdois, Santa Maria Wisdom Center program director.
"As the only licensed community-based adult services program in the two counties, we currently have a waiting list of more than 30 people," she said. "We will soon be able to meet this need and expand our dedicated Alzheimer's program."
The mission of the Wisdom Center is to prevent, delay and reduce the premature institutionalization of low-income, medically frail, elderly adults living with disabilities, allowing them to remain at home as long as possible.
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It is the only licensed community-based adult services program in Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo counties, the spokeswoman said.
The center provides comprehensive adult day health services, including door-to-door transportation to and from the facility, on-site nursing care and medication management, physical and occupational therapy and rehabilitation and stimulating social and recreational activities, as well as breakfast and a hot lunch, the spokeswoman said.
Last year, the Wisdom Center launched a dedicated Alzheimer's program that will be expanded at the new facility.
"We are very appreciative of the city of Santa Maria for the consistent support for our Santa Maria Wisdom Center programs since inception over 15 years ago, when we operated out of space made available to us by the Department of Parks and Recreation," said Virginia Franco, Life Steps chief executive officer.
The project architect is Vivek Harris, with Dan Blough Construction building the new facility.
April Charlton covers South San Luis Obispo County for Lee Central Coast Newspapers. Follow her on Twitter@WordsDawn.