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New Alzheimer’s Center of Excellence in East Hamilton responding to increased community need for dementia care

photo of a resident and family members at The Lantern of Knoxville

The Lantern memory care wing at Morning Pointe of East Hamilton Assisted Living and Memory Care has limited apartments available and often has a waiting list.

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The Growing Need for Memory Care

The need for memory care and dementia care services across the United States has been growing. According to the Alzheimer’s Association’s 2023 annual Alzheimer’s Disease Facts and Figures report, there is a projected increase in Alzheimer’s cases of 16.7 percent in Tennessee between 2020 and 2025.

With the increase in dementia comes a greater need for clinical care and support for families of individuals facing a recent diagnosis. The demand has grown for secure and dementia-friendly residences where these individuals can find coordinated care tailored for their stage of disease, as well as meaningful interactions and activities suited to their needs, interests and abilities.

For all these reasons, the Morning Pointe of East Hamilton campus is about to expand the local Alzheimer’s and dementia care options, adding a new, free-standing Alzheimer’s/memory care community next door to the current building, which will transition to assisted living only. Together, the campus will offer a continuum of care for seniors with varying needs.

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About The Lantern

Expected to open in early 2025, The Lantern at Morning Pointe Alzheimer’s Center of Excellence at East Hamilton is located at 1775 Generations Way in Ooltewah, just off East Brainerd Road by the new Publix Super Market at the Shops at Enclave.

The Lantern will be a single-level building with 60 apartments. It will encompass two levels of care under one roof – Lamplight for early stages of Alzheimer’s and other dementias, and Lantern for the more advanced stages. Residents can engage at a level of activity and care that provides the right amount of mental stimulation without being either underchallenged or overwhelmed. Care staff will be specially trained on the different stages of Alzheimer’s and dementia and how to care for each resident’s needs with compassion and comfort.

Memory care programming will include the Best Friends™ Approach, Teepa Snow’s Positive Approach to Care, Meaningful Day™ purposeful programming, music therapy, art therapy, and cuddle therapy. There will also be a strong focus on clinical care with physical and occupational therapies, life enrichment and wellness offerings and intergenerational activities. In addition, residents will benefit from Morning Pointe’s Farm to Table program with local, farm-fresh and seasonal ingredients.

aerial photo of the Morning Pointe of East Hamilton campus March 2024
Aerial photo of the Morning Pointe of East Hamilton campus March 2024

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The Lantern Groundbreaking

The Lantern will hold a public groundbreaking ceremony on Friday, March 22, at 11:30 a.m.

Several local dignitaries and Alzheimer’s representatives will celebrate the role The Lantern will play in serving the memory care needs of the greater community. Speakers will include Morning Pointe Senior Living Co-founders Greg A. Vital (president of the company) and Franklin Farrow (CEO), as well as Hamilton County Mayor Weston Wamp, Hamilton County Commissioner Chair for District 10 Jeff Eversole, Hamilton County Trustee Bill Hullander, Tennessee State Representative for District 30 Esther Helton, and Manager of Programs and Education for the Alzheimer’s Association Amy French.

In addition, the East Hamilton High School Choir will provide the opening song, and the school’s JROTC will lead out in a flag ceremony and pledge of allegiance.

“We are seeing an increased need for memory care services and support in our country and in our state, and now is the right time to expand our East Hamilton campus to rise to meet that need,” said Vital. “We are looking forward to serving more families right here in the greater Chattanooga area and supporting them on their journey with Alzheimer’s and dementia.”

Founded in 1997, Morning Pointe Senior Living operates assisted living and Alzheimer’s memory care communities in five southeastern states. The Lantern will be the 41st Morning Pointe Senior Living community and the 25th in Tennessee. Other Hamilton County campuses are located in Chattanooga, Collegedale and Hixson.

The philanthropic arm of Morning Pointe Senior Living is the Morning Pointe Foundation, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit that works to provide nursing scholarships and caregiver support.

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