With the senior population in Cy-Fair continuing to rise, more facilities are under construction or near opening and more public services are being developed to meet the needs of the growing demographic.
The population of residents over the age of 65 in Harris County is projected to increase by 47 percent—from 639,000 to 940,000—by 2030, county officials said. In the seven ZIP codes that make up the Cy-Fair area, this demographic more than tripled from 9,964 in 2000 to 28,058 in the most recent U.S. Census count in 2014.
“There is an increased need for specialized senior care facilities across the state,” said Matt Stanley, president of Sundance Memory Care, which has a new facility opening this fall near Towne Lake in Cypress. “There’s definitely demand in Cypress just because there are a lot of families out here who want their parents to be close by.”
Construction is underway on a number of assisted living and memory care facilities that are set to open over the next year. In Copperfield, officials with Stream Realty Partners are also looking into developing an active lifestyle community for seniors.
Assisted living facilities differ from independent living complexes by providing licensed nurses and assistance with the activities of daily living, such as cooking, cleaning and taking medication. Memory care facilities hire specialists who can help individuals with dementia or Alzheimer’s disease.
Heartis Senior Living, an assisted living and memory care facility opening on Longenbaugh Road at the end of March, already has a waiting list, officials said. Targeting residences in northern Cy-Fair, Spring Cypress Road Assisted Living and Memory Care will open in early 2017.
“Many people are looking at Cypress for these projects because research indicates insufficient beds,” said Jon Spears, a developer with TNRG, the company behind the Spring Cypress Road project. “We liked this site in particular because we thought we could make use of all the big trees we have for a walking path or courtyard.”
The VaughnGage Healthy Aging Center—the first adult day center in the Cy-Fair area—opened its doors last August. Business has been picking up with each passing month, founder and CEO Asheva Phillips said.
“We’re still trying to get the word out about what we do, but the people who have come to us say we’ve changed their lives,” Phillips said.
Meanwhile, public services for seniors are becoming more focused at the county level as well. The Senior Adult Program organized by Harris County Precinct 4 continues to develop partnerships with more than 400 groups in the community, including churches, civic associations and gardening clubs. Demand for services is also growing, Program Director Jan Sexton said.
“[We] introduced a traveling day camp in 2015 whereby staff and volunteers visit multicare facilities on a quarterly basis to provide entertainment, refreshments and crafts,” she said. “Due to the overwhelming response from residents, [we are] now providing these activities each month.”