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Parent company Enlivant plans to close the Estacada location because of financial constraints.

ESTACADA NEWS PHOTO: EMILY LINDSTRAND - Grace Place Senior Living will close later this summer because of financial constraints. The residence is home to 18 seniors.

After more than two decades of serving the senior community, Grace Place will soon close its doors.

Grace Place staff, residents and their families were notified last Monday that parent company Enlivant planned to close the Estacada location because of financial constraints.

While most residents should be moved out by early July, staff will continue to work through the August to finalize the building's closure.

Kate Raymer, community relations manager at Grace Place, noted that the majority of residents would be moving between June 15 and the end of the month.

Since learning of the closure, Raymer and her coworkers have been working to connect the 18 residents of Grace Place with different care facilities. Most residents will move to Cascadia Village and Avamere in Sandy. Others will go to Davenport Place, another Enlivant community in Silverton.

Leaders at Enlivant made the decision to close Grace Place because low enrollment led to financial constraints.

"Since I came on two-and-a-half years ago, the building has always been less than half full," Raymer said, noting that Grace Place has the capacity for 30 residents. "We just got over half full in February, but if you have a half-full building with a full budget, you're just not able to make those bills."

Though the closure is unexpected, Raymer is confident the residents of Grace Place will bounce back from the shock.

"As long as we can help give them a soft landing, they'll be OK," she said.

To ease the transition for its residents, Raymer and her coworkers are working to connect all residents with other facilities. Additionally, Grace Place has hired a company to help pack and move their belongings.

While working at Grace Place, staff members have strived to create a home-away- from-home for their residents.

"We want to engage them on a mind, physical and spiritual basis, because that creates a happy home," Raymer said. "We're trying to make people's lives as good as they can for not being in their own homes."

Grace Place has hosted a variety of activities for residents that were also open to other members of the Estacada community, such as concerts and antique shows.

The Grace Place community also connects with Estacada residents in several other ways.

Every Wednesday, lunch is open to the community, and during the past school year, students in the Estacada Middle School service learning class have visited the residents weekly. Residents have also participated in Estacada's holiday parades.

Grace Place staff worked to connect residents with activities that matched their interests.

"Our activities director Cyndi is amazing," Raymer added.

With the closure nearing, Grace Place staff have found ways to wrap up several long-term projects.

A group of residents were going to build a boat in the center's courtyard, but with limited time at Grace Place, the boat-making kit will be taken with one resident to Davenport Place to complete.

Interested residents were also learning the science behind wine brewing, with the goal of gifting wine to their families for Christmas.

Though Whispering Pines and 300 Main offer senior apartments, Grace Place is Estacada's only assisted

living facility. The residence offers around-the-clock home care.

Raymer noted that numerous residents have family in Estacada, many of whom will stop by several times a day to visit with their loved ones.

While reflecting on her time at Grace Place, Raymer said she'll miss seeing happy residents most.

"(I'll miss) the singing in the hallway, laughter in the activity room and conversations about 'when I was a kid," she said. "You get three to four of them talking, and it's a beautiful thing. We had a really good thing here."

Grace Place will host two final events: at 3:30 p.m. Friday, June 16, Ellen Whyte will stop by for a concert, and from 1-3:30 p.m. Sunday, June 18, there will be a Father's Day Motorcycle Show.

Raymer encourages anyone interested to attend.

"(It would be great for the residents) to just feel they're a part of this community one last time," she said. "A big send off with a bunch of people would make them feel special."

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