The Campaign for Memory Care at Allen Brook
In late 2017, with support from foundations, friends and families coping with dementia, Cathedral Square created Memory Care at Allen Brook. The goal: to provide equity of access to quality dementia care and services for those without means. Memory Care at Allen Brook became Vermont’s first (and its still only) nonprofit memory-care community exclusively for very low-income Vermonters on Medicaid.
It is a community in every sense of the word, providing a family-like atmosphere nurtured by our Best Friends™ approach to memory care, and providing the very best of care to those who otherwise might receive the worst. Our friends — that is how we refer to residents — guide their care, control their day-to-day lives, and always maintain their dignity.
The number of Vermonters age 65+ with Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia is projected to increase by 31%, to 17,000, by 2025. While there are numerous private-pay memory care facilities in Vermont — for which costs exceed $10,000 per month — there are virtually no options for low-income Vermonters. Cathedral Square is committed to serving low-income Vermonters on Medicaid at Memory Care at Allen Brook.
Our deadline for purchasing 99 Allen Brook Lane was extremely tight. We met the immediate challenge quickly with grants, philanthropy and a small NEFCU loan. The Vermont Community Loan Fund filled the remaining gap with a short-term, $1 million loan so we could immediately renovate and move friends into the community.
It was always our intent to use operating revenues to pay off this loan by its 2024 due date. Alas, the extraordinary costs we have incurred due to the pandemic, combined with the sky-rocketing cost of goods and services during this time of severe workforce shortages and record-breaking inflation, have increased our expenses to the point that we no longer can carry this debt and continue operating Allen Brook.
The Campaign for Memory Care at Allen Brook aims to raise $1 million by the end of the year in order to pay off the loan so we can apply funds that otherwise would go to servicing this debt directly to our operating costs, thereby ensuring the continued operation of Allen Brook into the future. Thanks to the generosity of the families of J. Warren & Lois McClure and Holly & Bob Miller, all gifts up to $500,000 are being matched dollar for dollar.