A special group home for patients with Alzheimer’s disease and dementia is slated to open this week.
Our Family Home will open on Wednesday on Evening Street in Worthington. The single-family home in a neighborhood allows five unrelated people with memory loss to live in an actual home rather than a facility. They receive around-the-clock care.
“They have dignity and respect,” said founder Evan DuBro.
DuBro said that the patients are calmer and happier in a house than in an institution.
The home features locks and alarms, but residents get their own rooms, eat at one table, rock on the porch.
DuBro said that California features more than 5,000 similar homes, and it is the coming trend as America ages.
"Many states throughout the United States are moving to what we are calling de-institutionalizing of long term care," DuBro said. "This concept really started with M.R.D.D., and what they did with de-regulating the mentally retarded developmentally disabled. They got them out of larger institutions, moved them back into group homes in the community. And they flourished."
Anne Allen said that she placed her husband, Keith Allen, at Our Family Home after having first placed her husband in a nursing home.
“It didn’t work out there,” Allen said. “He tried to escape all the time, and they just kept him drugged.”
Allen said that her husband is relaxed at Our Family Home.
"He sat down to lunch with the rest of the residents, and it was like he belonged here." she said.
Our Family Home has two current facilities in central Ohio – one on Worthington-Galena road and another in Berwick. DuBro said he hopes to open another home in New Albany next year.
For DuBro, this is a very personal venture. Two of his grandparents died of Alzheimer's disease, and as teenager, he watched their decline. Now his mother is in the last stages of the illness.
"I remember my mother saying to me many years ago when I came up with this idea, she goes, ‘Will I be living in one of your homes? And I said, ‘yes,’” DuBro said.
Fred Yaeger, who lives near the new Evening Street location, said that he originally was nervous when he heard about the home.
"Rumors have a way of going and they're not always accurate," Yaeger said. "It varied all the way from, ‘Not in my backyard,’ to, ‘I like this idea. This is cool. This is where we're going. And we need to go.’"
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