The center’s board took the first step by approving a $10,000 budget at Tuesday’s meeting. The money will be used to renovate the wing. Changes to occur will include updating the bathrooms and modifying the rooms through new wall furnishings.
Board members said the $10,000 expenditure can be used between January and February’s board meeting to get the process moving.
Any further money used on the project will be discussed at future board meetings.
“With the explosion of people being able to repair knees, repair joints and rotator cuffs and hips, we are going to expand our ability to provide rehabilitation for the client who doesn’t need to live in the nursing home, but requires rehabilitation,” said John Stanbery, board chairman.
A total of 29 beds is currently in Wing 3. There will be 15 private rooms, post-alterations. Dennis Burtnett, administrator, said the wing will be duly certified to allow both Medicare and Medicaid patients. Currently, only Medicaid patients are in the wing.
A separate entrance allows access to the wing without going through the entire center. Burtnett said it would be very set apart by itself.
“Someone who needs to be in a nursing home is a different patient from someone who has knee surgery and needs a month of rehab. They may not want to be in a room with an Alzheimer’s patient or a degenerative situation,” Stanbery said. “So, most of them want a private room.”
“We are just trying to provide them with the service and care they want.”
A gym is currently a part of the center’s facilities. Burtnett proposed constructing a second gym and an apartment for the rehabilitation patients.
“The gym will pretty much be strictly for rehab patients,” Burtnett said. “We are going to have a studio apartment to prepare the resident for going home.”
Added Stanbery, “That is to make sure they know how to do things like put their clothes in the washer.”
Burtnett referred to the practice as occupational therapy.
“It makes sure you know how to do all the things in your house, from cooking and washing dishes to baking things and going to the bathroom,” Burtnett said.
The rehabilitation center would be available to all ages.
A financial report revealed the center was down a third month in finances. Sandy Brock, controller and human resources director, cited Medicaid and high operating costs as a cause.
“A lot of people only qualify for CHOICES home care,” Brock said. “Some patients are here for a month and then do not qualify for Medicaid.”
The board suggested changes be made to lower operating costs. Stanbery and Brock said a closer look would have to be given to patients who are accepted.
“We need to be aware, while a census is a useful tool to say we need ‘x’ amount of people in the door, there are certain patients which we would actually lose money accepting,” Stanbery said.
n In additional news, all Share cards will now be collected by a board member. Share cards are forms patients, family members and employees can fill out to share their concerns about or approval of facility operations.