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Senior services could expand

Willowbrook Place asks board if it can raise care level

July 13, 2010

Thiensville — Services offered at Willowbrook Place, a senior-living facility in the heart of the village, could be expanded in the near future. But approval from the Village Board will be necessary for plans to carry forward.

Representatives from Milwaukee-based Fiduciary Real Estate Development, the firm operating Willowbrook Place, unveiled plans at a Committee of the Whole meeting last week. A decision could be rendered next week when the Village Board meets to discuss amending the conditional-use permit awarded to Fiduciary in 2001.

Willowbrook Place, 205 Green Bay Road, opened about a half-decade ago. The three-story building includes 64 apartment units catering to seniors. Fiduciary officials are planning to expanding offerings and becoming a certified Residential Care Apartment Complex, a state designation meaning the facility would be authorized to provide meals, supportive care and medical management to residents.

"Some of our aging residents need and desire additional services and meals to be able to continue to live in the Willowbrook community," said Craig Raddatz, a Fiduciary partner. "… Every unit can have either an independent renter or a person who may desire the RCAC services."

Raddatz said some minor construction work would be necessary, including expanding the kitchen and dining room areas. RCAC residents would be provided with three meals per day.

In addition to expanding offerings, Fiduciary officials are planning to add three units to Willowbrook Place, bringing the total number to 67. As proposed, some of the existing units could be subdivided into smaller units.

As defined by the state, RCAC designation is for facilities that provide the most basic level of assisted service to seniors. It would be in contrast to a full-fledged nursing home. Raddatz said round-the-clock staffing is proposed, though personnel at hand during non-peak times would be minimal.

Village officials have, thus far, been supportive of the proposed changes. Village President Karl Hertz suggested Fiduciary representatives keep the board updated on the number of residents using RCAC services.

"It appears we could wake up one day and find out the whole place is assisted living," Hertz said.

There was brief discussion last week about what effect the enhanced services offered at Willowbrook Place could have on village services, namely EMS calls.

"We have to have our realistic expectations cap on and realize there will be an effect," Fire Chief Brian Reiels said. "But there has not been a drain on our resources at the moment."

Next Step

WHAT: Thiensville Village Board could act on a conditional-use change for Willowbrook Place senior-living facility

WHEN: 7 p.m. July 19

WHERE: Village Hall, 250 Elm Street

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