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Michael Wafford

Ellen Renner

Seniors who are living with dementia will soon have a new center designed to help them cope with the illness while remaining independent.

The Grove at Rosewood Senior Living Community is an assisted living facility that provides specialized care for its residents who are dealing with memory disorders.

The grand opening of the 18-room suite will take place Nov. 13.

Planning for The Grove began in 2009, as a way provide a living space for the growing number of people in Kern County living with Alzheimer’s disease and forms of dementia, an illness that comes in many forms and affects people in various ways, said Ellen Renner, executive director of Rosewood.

Before The Grove was built, residents at Rosewood with memory disorders would have to visit another center in Kern County to receive services.

“My understanding is every memory care unit in town is pretty much full with a waiting list,” Renner said.

The Grove is connected to the Rosewood community and uses doors with a delayed system that allows residents to safely walk around the grounds without fear of becoming lost.

Residents of The Grove can participate in various activities, including poetry reading, exercise programs and gardening on the patio of The Grove’s sky room.

Family and friends can leave pictures or notes through the eMinder Internet program, which can be viewed anytime.

Rosewood uses the “best friend approach” for elder care, Renner said.

“We call them ‘best friends’ and not ‘caregivers’ because they really are your best friends,” Renner said. “If you need something, your best friend is always there to help.”

Workers are encouraged to learn about the history of the residents, and residents are also encouraged to hang keepsakes along the facility walls to help with memories.

For more information on Rosewood Senior Living Community, go to or call 661-834-0620.

— Michael Wafford