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Kensington to Welcome Seniors in Early August

WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. - Celina Watson, the executive director, of the Kensington assisted living and memory care residence opening this August, said she's very excited about coming to work every day.

“I have the ability to make a difference in seniors’ lives like never before,” said Watson, a Danbury, Conn., resident with 26 years of experience in senior care. “In my past life it was a problem to have someone in line in the cafeteria asking for their order over and over again. It’s not an enjoyable experience for those in their sharp mind. And you don’t want to have someone with a memory problem to try to hide it either.”

Watson is particularly pleased that the Kensington has created separate “neighborhoods” for residents with varying levels of memory loss. The fifth floor haven neighborhood, which is locked to those without a password at all hours, serves those with sever dementia. The fourth floor connections neighborhood, which is only secured at night, will host those with mild to moderate memory loss. Those on the bottom three floors form another distinct community. All of the neighborhoods have their own kitchen, dining room, patio, and activities coordinators.

Tiffany Tomasso, a partner with the Fountain Square Senior Living company behind the Kensington, said residents will be able to move in the first week of August if acquiring the permits and licenses goes according to schedule. A series of locally-named apartments - the Whitman suite, the New Yorker parlor suite, the Kensington one-bedroom deluxe, the Westchester and the Hudson - allow the Kensington to host up to 105 seniors. Leases run from $3,000 to $10,000 a month depending on residents’ care needs.

Tomasso would not disclose how many rooms had been leased, but said the Kensington expected to beat its initial goal of having all rooms full within the first year and a half. She said there is a great need for assisted living in Westchester.

“When you look at new (assisted living) building coming into the New York metro area, the number of senior housing units has only grown about three percent in the last five years, whereas nationally it’s grown a little over 7 percent. So there’s really a deep market,” said Tomasso.

A Rye Brook man moving his parents into the Kensington about two weeks ago said he was eager for his parents, who had been living separately, to be sharing a home again. He said the Kensington filled a niche by caring for lower Westchester seniors with memory loss.

Do you think there's a need for more assisted living for White Plains seniors? What are your thoughts on the Kensington? Do you know anybody moving in? Email responses to strangle@thedailywhiteplains.com

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