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New McMillan Mesa senior living community to open spring 2021
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McMILLAN MESA

New McMillan Mesa senior living community to open spring 2021

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Highgate Senior Living is constructing a 90,000-square-foot senior living community on McMillan Mesa for completion in spring 2021.

A groundbreaking ceremony was held July 9 for the roughly $25 million project, a three-story building located at 1831 N. Jasper Drive that will include 60 suites — with studio and one- and two-bedroom options — for assisted living residents and 32 spaces for individuals with mid- to late-stage cognitive impairment. Other features include an exterior courtyard, spa, activities area, bistro and men’s lounge.

Highgate, a Washington-based company focused on holistic care, has communities in Washington, Montana, California and Arizona — in Prescott, where it opened a similarly-sized building to the Flagstaff development in 2011.

Marjorie Todd, CEO of Highgate, said the team has been working in Flagstaff for the last five years, doing a market study.

“We know that the Flagstaff community is very into health, healthy living, alternative types of treatment and care for people and just that holistic approach, so it’s a good fit for us because that’s what we believe in,” Todd said, adding that the organization’s emphasis on building community relationships works best in smaller towns like Flagstaff.

She said the location on McMillan Mesa was ideal not only for its views, but also for its proximity to the hospital and many medical practices, as well as Buffalo Park and Basis Flagstaff, where she hopes residents will be able to volunteer with students.

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“There’s two things that we really feel passionate about and that is our holistic approach to care and purposeful living,” Todd said. “Just because you’re old doesn’t mean you don’t want to add value and be needed and important so our programming is really centered around helping residents engage in things that make them feel purposeful, useful and needed.”

In Highgate’s other communities, Todd said residents participate in activities such as baking for first responders and local homeless shelters as well as being pen pals with local students.

The group’s holistic practices are based on its line of specialty teas and aromatherapy products, plus spa baths and massage.

“We don’t believe we’re going to be the solution for everybody,” Todd said. “We really focus on good quality dementia care and we focus on assisted living and that higher acuity yet cognitively intact resident. We’re not in independent living. We don’t pretend to be. Our premiere product we feel proud of is that dementia care product and how we take care of those residents.”

According to its website, Highgate’s memory care program uses internationally recognized programs that emphasize positive interactions with residents, such as a system using gem colors to signify different stages of dementia. These categorizations are intended to help people better interact with and understand individuals with dementia.

Highgate at Flagstaff plans to hire a team of up to 90 team members, with 10 administrators, in the areas of care partners (its term for caregivers), activities professionals, servers, housekeepers, chefs and more. A local recruitment is scheduled to begin this fall, with the goal of hiring and training staff before it opens the building to residents.

The senior living community has set up a temporary information center at 617 N. Humphreys St. For more information, visit www.highgateseniorliving.com/communities/flagstaff.

Kaitlin Olson can be reached at the office at kolson@azdailysun.com or by phone at (928) 556-2253.

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