Thursday evening marked the grand opening of the Avanti Senior Living community, a new upscale assisted living and memory care community that tries to make its residents' golden years comfortable, safe and "sexy."

Avanti Senior Living, at 5522 Ambassador Caffery Parkway, blends new technology with services the residents might be more familiar with to help keep them active, healthy and feeling like they did in their younger years. This includes personal electronic tablets with a tech support specialist available to help them, lounges and pavilions for each wings' residents to socialize, in-restaurant or room-service options for three healthy meals a day and a lounge with a bar that has complimentary happy hours daily.

"We chose Louisiana because that's where I'm from and we decided on Lafayette because we felt that this marketplace and our product were just a perfect blend. Lafayette didn't have a sexy senior living community and we felt that it needed one and deserved one and here we are," said Lori Alford, co-founder and chief operating officer of Avanti Senior Living.

The 77,000-square-feet community offers various levels of service, floor plans and a variety of amenities in either a studio, one-bedroom or two-bedroom apartment in either luxury or standard suite format. There are 70 assisted living apartments and 21 memory-care apartments. 

"Avanti means 'forward' in Italian, so we are taking senior living forward to the next level. We're an upscale community that offers different amenities that other senior communities don't offer," said Lauri Deslatte, executive director of Avanti Lafayette. "It's very difficult when placing mom. Putting her care and trust into someone else's hands is very hard, but we have our own LPNs and RN, who is our wellness coordinator, on staff 16 hours a day to oversee the care of our residents."

Some of these amenities include their Mind-Body-Strength program that creates personalized fitness training for each resident and classes such as barre and yoga with full-time instructors. Private in-home training is also available. There is also a full-service, professional salon that offers manicures, pedicures, massages and aroma therapy, an art studio with a full schedule of classes and theater and game room for visiting grandchildren and a dog-walking area.

The Lafayette facility marks the company's sixth community with three near Houston, one near Dallas and one in Covington. Alford said they also have two more under construction and three in the development phase. When the facility fully opens in July, they will staff between 63 and 90 employees.

"I think it's a fantastic addition to our community. Not just for Broussard, Lafayette and Youngsville, but all the surrounding communities," said Stacy Romero, president and chief operating officer of the Broussard Chamber of Commerce. "I think it's going to be an opportunity for people to be able to transition into a different space, but be close to home and everything they love in their community."

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