Shovels in hand, several individuals helped turn the soil at 10 a.m. Thursday to break ground for Legacy Village’s newest wing. The Harbor is a memory care unit that will accommodate 24 residents and set to open in January.

The Harbor is a $2,200,000 project that will bring 20 new jobs to the area.

Clint Holyfield, Legacy Village’s executive director, said The Harbor will treat those who suffer from Alzheimer’s and dementia with a high level of care that will involve family members.

Holyfield said residents will be treated with a non-drug therapy called the Simple C (companion) that calls for having a monitor in each room with a TV screen flowing memories. The idea for this type of therapy is to help improve their memories and health by reminding them of their lives in years gone by.

“Music, pictures of grandchildren and family will flow through the TV monitor with a memory built in just for them,” said Holyfield. “We can upload family videos, their favorite vacation spots and other memories”

Holyfield said the Simple C treatment is geared mainly toward Alzheimer’s and dementia residents because it helps take them back to simpler, happier times.

“We can try to regress their memory with this,” he said. “And we can do all of it without pills. For example, we can have someone’s son or daughter greet them in the mornings on the screen with a ‘Good morning, dad. It’s time to take you medicine.’ ”

Holyfield said he believes Simple C is nothing less than a healing mechanism because family members can be involved in the residents’ care on a daily basis.

Upon admission, a family member will be asked to fill out a form about their loved one. Holyfield cited an example.

“If someone grew up on a horse farm and horses calm them down, we’ll put pictures up of horses,” he said. “We believe in redirection and less drug therapy.”

The theme of The Harbor is centered around the year 1953. There will be a lot of green and yellow in the décor.

“It’s a retro theme, back to the days of ‘I Love Lucy’ and ‘The Dick Van Dyke Show,’ ” said Holyfield. “We’ll play music and movies from that era to help remind them of their good old days.”

Holyfield said that even the appliances will carry that theme.

Holyfield said a professionally trained staff will be on hand 24 hours a day seven days a week to aide those who will make The Harbor their home.

Barry Ray, part owner and president of Legacy Senior Services, said he was thrilled with the turnout at the ground breaking.

“The support from the mayor to other dignitaries and others throughout the community who showed up was wonderful,” he said. “We’re thrilled to be a part of the Jacksonville community. This will provide local taxes into the tax system and provide assistance for those families who are caring for loved ones who have Alzheimer’s or dementia.”

Contact Margaret at