For less than the cost of a traditional nursing home, elderly New Haven residents can now rent newly renovated apartments at Tower One/Tower East, a nonprofit retirement community in the downtown area.
The towers, which contain 365 high-rise apartments, cater to the unique needs of New Haven’s elderly citizens. The renovations are designed to assist the elderly in their daily routines and allow them to maintain a certain level of independence.
“Ours is just like any other assisted living program, but the new renovations will definitely make life even better here for our residents,” Tower One/Tower East President Dorothy Giannini-Meyers said.
Renovations include lower cabinets, no-slip floors, wider halls, and the addition of a common room with a kitchen on each floor to encourage socializing.
“The renovations have made the buildings more accessible to the elderly and disabled,” Meyers said. “We gutted floors, showers and bathtubs to make them safer for people with wheelchairs.”
Services are also available to help with social needs, dressing and administration of medication for those residents who need assistance. Meyers said safety is also a major concern.
“We have an around-the-clock security desk, and new cameras that cover the entire building’s perimeter and doors,” she said. “I would say we have the safest security system in the city.”
During the renovations, the residents of six floors of apartments in Tower One have been relocated to other apartments in the building.
“Many of our current residents who need the accessible features that the new apartments will afford are anxiously awaiting completion of the renovated floors,” Meyers said in a press release. “We are pleased to be able to meet their needs as well as the needs of other seniors throughout the community.”
While the funding for all services offered in the complex come from the state, the renovations to the building itself been funded by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).
Over $10 million in funding was provided by HUD and also includes rental subsidies to senior citizens in need. Though some residents pay full market rent for their apartments, seniors eligible for subsidies pay only a third of their income.
Kate McEvoy, assistant director for the South Central Connecticut Agency on Aging in New Haven, said the complex will expand the limited housing options for seniors in the area.
“In general, there is not affordable assisted living in this area. Tower One/Tower East is an exception,” she said in an Oct. 10 New Haven Register article.
The first ten of these apartments will be open for occupancy by the end of November with 30 opening up by the spring.