New owner improves Riverside at Belfair

A family-owned investment company specializing in health care now owns Riverside at Belfair after the former owner, Oregon senior-housing company Sunwest Management Inc., declared bankruptcy last year. The new owners, Kandu Capital LLC and its operations company Bloomfield Senior Living, are creating a dedicated 23-suite Alzheimer's care unit at the Bluffton property, which is scheduled to open in December.

Independent living community Riverside at Belfair was built in 2000 and consists of 78,000 square feet on six acres. The Birmingham, Mich.-based company has 40 years of experience in the senior living industry, including assisted living and Alzheimer's and dementia care.

Bradley Dubin, co-owner of Kandu described Riverside at Belfair as a "senior village" with an independent living component.

"A majority of our residents originate from Sun City," he said, adding that many current residents of Sun City Hilton Head bring their parents to live at Riverside at Belfair.

He said his company has no debt or partners and are not required to make short term investor returns, so can focus on reinvesting in the facility.

Belfair Gardens

A $1 million remodel of the Alzheimer's & Dementia Care section of Riverside at Belfair will create a neighborhood setting of private suites. Called Belfair Gardens, the memory care unit will be centered around a 1940's-style "town square" with working life skill shops including an antiques store and general store.

These shops will display interactive vintage and nostalgic items from the resident's past "to that act as a mental nudge to remembered skills and interests by stimulating long term memories," company literature says.

Lara Williams, who is the director of the South Carolina Assisted Living Federation of America (SCALFA) and is a certified dementia specialist, will run daily operations at Belfair Gardens. She also serves as the director of the South Carolina advocates for policy reform related to the senior community in South Carolina.

State Lieutenant Governor Andre Bauer recently awarded Williams the Order of the Palmetto Patriot award, recognizing her dedication to public service on behalf of the state's senior population, primarily those living in assisted living residences.