Memory Care Center at Ferncliff May Spread to More ArchCare Facilities


Scott LaRue, CEO and president of ArchCare, told CNY the 38-bed Center for Advanced Memory Care at ArchCare at Ferncliff serving people with dementia and Alzheimer’s disease may be just a starting point. 

“I do see us expanding this across all of our nursing homes eventually,” LaRue said.

“There is going to be a very big demand for this type of program going forward (with people continuing to live longer). We’re really excited to be opening the Center for Advanced Memory Care and to be able to provide this service in our community.”

Construction at the center, located at ArchCare at Ferncliff Nursing Home and Rehabilitation Center in Rhinebeck, should be completed by Oct. 1. The center is expected to open in December or January following state inspections and surveys. 

The project at Ferncliff will cost about $6.5 million with the Catholic Healthcare Foundation donating $1.5 million, the Mother Cabrini Foundation donating $1 million and the balance coming from a grant from Statewide Health Care Facility Transformation Program.

LaRue said Ferncliff was chosen for the center because there was a need in the region. The center, which will focus on patient needs and preferences, is already drawing inquiries, he said. 

The home-like, community-oriented center will have a smart TV in each room, and residents, care team members and families will be able to communicate with each other through senior-friendly video conference technology. The center will also offer residents music, art, recreational activities and occupational therapy.

“We will make their living environment and quality of life as meaningful as possible,” LaRue said. 

Dalpos Architects designed the center for individuals with dementia and Alzheimer’s. For instance, sundowning is a symptom for those with dementia and Alzheimer’s in which patients may be more agitated and confused later in the day or evening. The center was designed to control lighting and limit impact on the residents.

“Dementia care is tough to manage after a certain point in your own home,” LaRue said. “This program will give (families) peace of mind knowing their loved one is cared for in a wonderful, new environment.”

LaRue said the center will become a Montessori Inspired Lifestyle Credentialed Community after completing an 18-month process. 

The Montessori Inspired Lifestyle features 12 core principles such as demonstrate more and talk less, match your speed to theirs, offer choice whenever possible, invite the person to participate, and activities designed with purpose and to capture interest.

ArchCare serves more than 9,000 seniors, the poor and persons with special needs at locations throughout the archdiocese. Ferncliff is one of five short-term rehabilitation centers and nursing homes operated by ArchCare, the others being ArchCare at Carmel Richmond Healthcare and Rehabilitation Center on Staten Island, ArchCare at Mary Manning Walsh Nursing Home in Manhattan, ArchCare at San Vicente de Paúl Skilled Nursing and Rehabilitation Center in the Bronx and ArchCare at Terence Cardinal Cooke Health Care Center in Manhattan.

LaRue emphasized Cardinal Dolan’s support in making programs such as the Center for Advanced Memory Care at ArchCare at Ferncliff possible.

“Cardinal Dolan is always pressing me to do more,” LaRue said. “We’ll find needs in the community and fill them.”