MENDON — The former Cortina Inn is set to become an assisted living facility for seniors.
Luis Marin, executive director of Silver Care Management, said Vista Senior Living plans to move its first few residents into its memory-care unit by late November.
“Right now, the only unit that is open is the memory-care unit,” he said on Tuesday. “We are not open as an assisted living center yet, we’re still in the process of licensure and the application with the state.”
The memory unit will be able to receive nursing home patients suffering dementia and other cognitive issues. Residents will be in a secured unit with around-the-clock nursing care.
According to Mendon town records, the property owner is listed as R & B Investments LLC. It’s assessed at $1.368 million. Ownership was transferred to R & B in December from Bharat Bhakta and Minaxi Bhakta. Prior to that, it was owned by Bhakta Development Co., which was listed on the initial Act 250 application applied for in 2018. Another Act 250 application was filed in April by Bhakta Care LLC seeking a minor administrative amendment raising the capacity of the facility to 67.
According to the Vermont secretary of state, the Bhaktas are principals of R & B with Sudha Ravi Bhakta listed as manager.
Marin said Silver Care Management is part of Bhakta Development LLC. He said Bhakta Care conducted a marketing study for this area and found there is a need for senior assisted-living centers, hence this project. When it’s fully up and running, he said, it will hopefully employ between 30 and 40 people.
He said this is Silver Care Management’s first operation in Vermont, as it’s a Texas-based company.
“I have to say, people from Rutland, Mendon and Killington have made us feel like home. It’s definitely the most welcoming community I’ve been in by far,” he said.
For the past several months Vermont, along with much of the world, has been dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic. Elderly people are considered at high risk for the disease and there have been many changes at facilities that house seniors. Marin said the timing for Vista Senior Living’s opening has worked out, as there’s more information out now about COVID-19 and how to restrict its spread.
“It was on everyone’s mind, especially during the beginning, and nobody knew the details of what COVID was or how to go about it,” he said. “It was always there, we had to educate ourselves.”
He said state regulators have been extremely helpful with their guidance around COVID-19.
Theresa Updegraff, marketing coordinator at Silver Care Management, said Vista is working to finalize an independent-living wing for folks who don’t yet need professional help in their daily lives. The goal is to allow residents to “age in place.”
“Moving from one facility to another can be traumatic and inconvenient for seniors and their loved ones, and aging in place will allow each resident to have one community to call home, with the same environment and care that they trust, even as the resident’s needs change,” Updegraff stated.
The exterior of the former Cortina Inn, she said, remains intact though improvements were made to the facade, along with driveway and parking lot upgrades as well as a new water treatment system and security improvements. The interior was completely renovated as well, with the addition of lounge areas, a library, community kitchen and upgrades to the lobby and fireplace lounge.
“The inn’s rooms have been converted to apartments, with three floor plans to choose from, each with private bathrooms and large windows from which our residents can enjoy breathtaking views of our beautiful campus and Pico Mountain,” she stated.