Six months ago, Maplewood Senior Living -- which is opening a residence in Darien -- introduced 24/7 licensed nursing care into its facilities. In those six months, the number of unnecessary hospital visits dropped 65 percent.

Maplewood Senior Living is an assisted living and memory care facility focused on caring for members of its community as well as giving back to the community, said Gregory Smith, CEO and chairman of Maplewood.

"We have a staff that's able to properly assess a patient's condition in person, rather than trying to assess someone over the phone," Smith said. "It's reduced stress for the residents and the family. What family member wants to get a call at 2 a.m. saying `Your mother's on the way to the emergency room' only to find out she didn't really need to go?" Smith said.

Maplewood Darien, at 599 Post Road, will feature a choice of one-bedroom or studio apartments as well as a pub, a country store, a beauty parlor, a wellness center, and a large library, dining room and living room for residents to use.

There will also be a private dining room where residents can have birthday parties, a larger, full kitchen where residents can eat and cook with their families, and gardens outside that the residents can enjoy.

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Pricing includes: three meals per day; housekeeping and laundry; all utilities; concierge service; recreational and cultural programming; 30 minutes of care for assisted living; 45 minutes of care for those with early memory issues; total care for those in later stage memory loss. Pricing varies, but starts at: • Assisted Living: $5,750 • Early stage memory neighborhood: $6,550 • Later stage memory neighborhood: $9,250

"We're constantly trying to get [residents] engaged. It's all about socialization, which is really the most important thing for our residents," Smith said.

Maplewood anticipates opening its doors in Darien in the fall.

Residents requiring assisted living will be housed on the first and third floors, and those requiring memory care will reside on the second floor.

Assisted living covers anyone who needs help with daily functions, such as bathing, dressing or eating. And memory care residents vary from people with Alzheimer's to other forms of dementia.

"It all really depends on what kind of memory loss it is," Barbara Nardone, senior sales specialist, said. "Sometimes people might already be suffering from it and not even realize that they're forgetting things."

A screening process is required for those suffering from memory loss.

Maplewood also has facilities in Newtown, Orange and Danbury, each of which houses a different number of residents. Newtown has 100 units, Orange has 93 units and Danbury has 65 units.

Another facility in East Norwalk, Maplewood Strawberry Hill, is currently under construction. Each facility differs depending on size and location. Maplewood will feature 66 units, creating housing for 29 assisted living residents and 37 memory care patients, including both early and late stages.

"Some of our competitors may have a cookie-cutter approach to building and planning activities, but our approach is very emotional based, and we try to cater to the town we're in," Smith said.

Nardone added that the building was developed "for a traditional assisted living environment."

"We're able to offer that peace of mind here with a much more independent feel," Nardone said.

Pricing for the rooms at Maplewood vary upon how much care a person may need as well as size of apartment or location in the building.

The summer 2012 rates are as follows, and include: farm to table dining (three meals per day); housekeeping and laundry; transportation; utilities, concierge service, electricity (including individually controlled heat and air conditioning), recreational and cultural programming. It includes 30 minutes of care for those living in assisted living, 45 minutes of care for those in early stages of dementia, and total care is provided in later stage memory loss. Monthly rates will vary, but the starting rates are:

Assisted living: $5,750;

Early stage memory loss: $6,550;

Later stage memory loss: $9,250.

Maplewood will host an open house on Saturday, Sept. 15, from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Wednesday, Sept. 19, from 11 a.m. to 6:30 p.m.

"We want to keep people active and independent," Smith said. "We're all about quality of life, quality of care, and we want to have our residents with us as long as we can."; 203-972-4407; @megdariennews