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Investors interested in building assisted living community

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Senior citizens on Guam may soon have the option to live in a community, which provides assistance as interest in building an assisted living community has grown. The idea of an assisted living community on Guam may become a reality sooner rather than later as off-island investors are eager to invest about $30 million into the construction.

American Medical Center's Dr. Vincente Akimoto said, "The big developing news is because of our investment here in the local community it looks like international investors are very interested in helping us build the Senior Living Center." According to the physician, investors became more intrigued in the idea after seeing how quickly the American Medical Center in Mangilao is coming together. The plan is to build an assisted living community on the two-acre private lot behind the AMC facility in the central village.

"That means then that this vision of assisted living bringing more senior care to Guam, especially on the same campus as a state-of-the-art medical center, maybe becoming a reality sooner rather than later," he said.

Akimoto says they have met with the Guam Legislature and Governor Eddie Calvo, who both are on board to making this happen and now that investors are serious about investing in Guam. He hopes that the community gets behind this endeavor and advocates to make this happen; the assisted living community will be built modeling it after assisted living communities in the United States. "We are working with the national consultant for assisted living in making sure that our ambitions don't overstep our means. So we are looking at going out with 50-100 units designed by mainland senior care experts," he promised.

Akimoto says this will be done in conjunction with the off-island investors who have their demands on return of investment. He says that currently investors are on island meeting with the Guam Economic Development Authority, the Governor's Office, and AMC.

So who would qualify for the community? At this point he says they are lobbying for Medicaid funding for senior care as it is done in Hawaii, as Akimoto explained, "Right now, one of our colleagues, John Anderson, is meeting with local assisted living professionals in Hawaii to try to bring back those kind of resources to Guam."

He adds that Vice Speaker BJ Cruz has already drafted legislation that begins that process but will need the governor and the legislature to find a way to get Medicaid funds matched by the federal government so that senior citizens can use the facilities for free.

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