- Alexandra Seltzer Palm Beach Post Staff Writer
About 18 years ago when Dr. George Peck, 90, and his wife Cathy opened an assisted living facility in Jupiter they wondered: Where do the residents go if they developed Alzheimer’s or dementia?
In South Florida, the options were a nursing facility without any care or the person’s home.
Unsatisfied with either, Peck took 20 beds at his facility and created a separate area to care for those residents. Now the Courtyard Gardens of Jupiter has 60 beds in the Memory Care section.
The doctor plans to open a similar facility in Boynton Beach.
Courtyard Gardens will be a one-story, 51,258-square-foot building at 3005 S. Congress Ave. It will be an inpatient medical facility specializing in Alzheimer’s and dementia care with room for 150 people. The city commissioners unanimously approved the project last week.
The location is at the southern portion of the Manor Care campus, formerly an assisted-living facility that was demolished in 2009. The north portion is a nursing and rehabilitation facility.
Before this plan, the site was approved to be The Slomin Family Center for Autism but it never came to fruition. In 2015, Novus Medical Center presented plans to build an inpatient detox facility there, but commissioners turned it down after an outcry from neighbors .
Peck and his development team informed the commission they planned to have a generator in case of a power failure to prevent the tragedy that happened Sept. 13 at the Rehabilitation Center at Hollywood Hills. Eight residents there died three days after Hurricane Irma cut off the air conditioning in the building. Six more died after being evacuated.
After what happened in Broward, Gov. Rick Scott ordered emergency rules that required the state’s nursing homes and assisted-living facilities to have generators.
For this Boynton facility, the generator will have to be between 250 KW and 300 to ensure full power will be restored, Peck said.
Peck’s generator at his Jupiter location didn’t power the air conditioning during Irma. Power was restored by that Thursday after the storm came through the area Sunday. Peck said he has since ordered a generator to handle all aspects of the facility.
But even before the storm, Peck and his partner agreed to buy a generator for Boynton, he said.
“We’re fortunate in this day and age that we have equipment like generators that can do the work that it does,” Peck said. “You go back 70 years ago we didn’t have generators. People didn’t have air conditioning and they still survived. But when you take something like an assisted living or a nursing home I feel you should have a generator for everything and that’s what we’re doing.”