12.29.20 Memory-care unit for COVID-19 patients with dementia opens at Fairview Developmental Center

Excerpted from Daily Pilot

By Sara Cardine

When local coronavirus cases began to surge and hospitals became overrun with COVID-19 cases, McAleer and his colleagues looked for a way to serve and treat this unique segment of the care population.

They reached out to the California Department of Social Services and were put in touch with Assemblywoman Cottie Petrie-Norris (D-Laguna Beach), who connected them with the Orange County Health Care Agency and the state’s Department of Developmental Services, which owns the 114-acre property.

In a matter of weeks, Alzheimer’s Orange County was licensed to run the care facility and had furnished and staffed the unit to care for the first round of 25 patients.

“I’ve never seen collaboration like this — it’s amazing how everyone has been showing up to help,” McAleer said.

Petrie-Norris said in a release issued Monday by Alzheimer’s Orange County when she learned about the crisis occurring in dementia and memory-care facilities during the pandemic, she was motivated to find a solution for the county’s most vulnerable patients.

“This is a great example of how nonprofits, the county and state can work together to protect our community,” she added.