HANCOCK COUNTY – As Phyllis Davisson transitioned into a caretaker role for her husband, she wanted to find a facility that would allow the retired couple to continue living independently — but where help was available at a moment’s notice should she need it.

For decades, no such options existed near Davisson’s home in New Palestine.

But in a few weeks, Davisson, 84, and her 87-year-old husband, who suffers from Parkinson’s disease as well as a form of dementia, will be among the first residents to move into Woodland Terrace, a senior living facility that will offer both assisted- and independent-living options to residents 55 and older.

In August, work will wrap up on 34 small homes inside the facility, 4400 Terrace Drive, just east of U.S. 52 and County Road 600W. Next summer, work is expected to wrap up on the facility’s main structure, which will include assisted-living apartments and a memory care unit for residents suffering from Alzheimer’s disease and similar conditions.

Story continues below gallery

In all, the facility, which will also include a restaurant for residents, will cost nearly $19 million and is expected to create 40 full-time positions, ranging from chefs to nurses.

About 13 miles north of the development, construction is well underway at the Traditions at Brookside, another senior living facility that also will offer independent- and assisted-living quarters to residents of all ages.

Traditions at Brookside, a 125,000-square-foot facility located just west of county roads 600W and 900N in McCordsville, will offer 133 assisted- and independent-living units once constructions wraps up this winter, said Kara Cope, director of community relations.

The development, which is estimated to cost more than $20 million to build, will also create 40 full-time jobs, Cope said.

But most importantly, experts say, both facilities will fill a void for aging local residents who are beginning to seek housing options that offer a range of assistance, from light housekeeping to stand-by medical support – services that will become increasingly in demand as Baby Boomers reach retirement.

Across the county, the number of residents 85 and older has doubled since 2000 — a trend that is backed by national data, U.S. Census reports show.

As the number of aging residents climbs, more seniors will search for full-service communities designed specifically to accommodate their needs, officials say.

Davisson, who will be moving into a two-bedroom cottage-style home, opted to move to the facility because she wants to continue caring for her husband as long as she can.

And plans for Woodland Terrace were announced at just the right time, said Davisson, who for decades has lived in New Palestine, where her daughter also resides.

Had the development not come through, the couple would have likely needed to move to a facility farther from home, which could have been a burden, making it difficult to move and keep in touch with loved ones, she said.

While Davisson is still able to handle most of the care for her husband, she thinks of the medical stand-by support at Woodland Terrace as a safety net, she said.

“Having everything close by will really make a big difference,” she said.

Since opening up reservations at Woodland, officials have filled nearly three-quarters of the cottages, said Cole Stites, executive director of Woodland Terrace.

He attributes part of that demand to real estate market conditions. Homes in Hancock County are selling at rates 20 percent higher than this time last year, local data shows. And homes are also selling at a faster rate than a year ago.

Housing at the facility is designed specifically for seniors, said Cole Stites, The cottages have no gaps or bumps between doorways, making the units easy to maneuver wheelchairs around, he said.

Future residents at both the New Palestine and McCordsville facilities will have access to on-site services. At Woodland Terrace, those include a fitness center with certified trainers, barber shop, day spa, library, business center and chapel.

At Traditions at Brookside, residents will have access to a dining area, housekeeping services and transportation, among other services.

Both facilities hope to draw from surrounding counties, including Marion, Hamilton and Madison counties.

Learn more about the facilities:

Traditions at Brookside, a 125,000-square-foot senior living facility under construction in McCordsville, will offer 133 assisted- and independent-living units for seniors and other residents when it opens this winter.

For more information about the facility, visit traditionsatbrookside.com or call 317-335-9900.

Woodland Terrace, a community with space for more than 130 residents age 55 and older, is opening small cottage homes this fall. The cottages, which offer independent living to residents, measure between 1,200 and 1,900 square feet.

Assisted-living apartments and single-occupancy suites inside the memory care unit measure from 360 square feet to nearly 1,000 square feet.

For more information, visit woodlandterraceliving.com or call 317-620-4551.

Author photo
Daniel Morgan is a reporter at the Greenfield Daily Reporter. He can be reached at (317) 477-3228 or dmorgan@greenfieldreporter.com.