PEKIN — A Springfield company has started the process to establish a memory care facility for people with Alzheimer’s disease, dementia and other memory afflictions.

Laborers’ Home Development Corp. plans to build a 50-unit facility next to its current assisted living facility, John M. Evans Supportive Living Community, 1320 Executive Court, Pekin. The new facility would face El Camino Drive. 

The property already has access to water and sewer connections and would have a 23-space parking lot.

The Pekin Planning Commission voted last week to recommend to the Pekin City Council that it change the zoning of the property from two-family residential to multiple-family residential so plans for the facility can proceed. The issue will likely appear on the April 24 Council meeting agenda, said John Lebegue, Pekin building inspection and development director.

Jayne Lourash, assistant director of the Laborers Home Development Corp., said making the facility a reality is a multistep process involving not only city approval, but also that of the Illinois Department of Health and Family Services. 

Funding must be sought as well. She said those steps take time, but it is hoped that construction can start by next spring.

The unique aspect of this facility is it will provide the Medicaid component that John M. Evans Supportive Living Community does, said Lourash.

“We all know that the community as a whole is aging and we need to provide various choices and options for the aging population that do need help, whether it’s supportive living, memory care and ultimately maybe full-time nursing care,” said Lourash. “The things like the supportive living facility that has been here in Pekin through John Evans for nine years, and now hopefully the memory care, will offer those folks that run out of private care funds or cannot muster the private care funds to have a safe quality place to call home.

“They don’t have to be moved when they run out of money. It’s sad when someone that suffers from memory loss, dementia, Alzheimer’s (disease) and all of the other types of memory loss out there, to have to move them periodically. Life in itself becomes confusing for folks that have those ailments and to throw things like that in the mix just makes it harder.”

The area surrounding the proposed location is filled with assisted living facilities. It is located near UnityPoint Health-Pekin and the soon to be constructed AMT Ambulance facility on the hospital grounds.

Follow Sharon Woods Harris at Twitter.com/sharrispekin