Thursday, January 20, 2022

Need For ALF on Marco

Letter to the Editor

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.

2 responses to “Need For ALF on Marco”

  1. Michelle Phy says:

    We have been coming to Marco since I was 18 and Soon I get the Beall’s discount (I will be 50)! We hope to someday move into the home we built in 2005. I don’t understand the opposition to ALF but I’m trying to see all sides. I feel compelled to share.

    When things are going well with your health it is hard to imagine not being self sufficient. In 2011, I came home from a spin class & fell to the floor while showering with my 4 year old. I had a gran mal seizure and was rushed to the hospital. Diagnosed with brain cancer I have since had 2 craniotomies. Previously I ran a company, I can no longer work. Independence is a thing of the past, and this was at 42.

    My point is that you just never know who might need care in your family. It could be your spouse, your child or yourself.

    Did you know that only 3% of mortgage foreclosures are caused by death, 48% are caused by disability. Life can change in an instant.

    While visiting the island last week,we watched numerous residents with canes & walkers, we even saw one fall. It seems like many of our neighbors might someday soon need an assisted living facility. It would be amazing if they didn’t have to leave our beautiful little island to get that care. Remember, none of us are guaranteed tomorrow, it could be you.

  2. Alfred Marchand says:

    Having ro deal with a parent through a decade of dementia, it is apparent every community is well served with a quality facility. The push back from some in the community is NOT whether Marco would be better served with an ALF but rather the size of the facility.

    The Watermark plan is a plan to service a community much larger than 17000 full time residents. The fact that the plan requires the creation of a PUD is clearly indicative that it exceeds current land development codes on a host of issues.

    The Watermark ALF plan for providing elderly care is analogous to having a Walmart on the island for home improvement needs. To serve this island, we have ACE Hardware…..

    When will the Planning Board and Council figure this out!

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