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What should the La Junta nursing home look like?

La Junta Tribune-Democrat - 3/15/2019

March 15-- Mar. 15--The discussion at Wednesday's meeting of the Health District board of directors centered around the general plan for the nursing home structures.

In preliminary visits and discussions, the committee (Johnnie DeLeon, Janet Hill, Dianne Fowler, Dr. Paul Yoder and Lynn Horner) decided on a group of smaller buildings whose internal operation would work in a family-style setting. The discussion considered groups of from eight to 15 people in a unit.

"A plan with four buildings with 14 occupants each has been approved at the state level," said Horner.

The nursing home campus must be built to accommodate at least 50 patients, and up to 60 would be ideal. However, after discussion, the group settled on about 13 per unit, with four units or cottages.

The need for a garage or car shelter for safe transport of a patient to a hospital was discussed. Also, the need for storage became apparent to the group as they toured other facilities and saw things just piled around.

Laundry is another big concern. If laundry is done in each cottage, then, as Hill said, "Those machines would be whirring all the time."

A need for a central gathering place was discussed.

"Sure, we live in family units, but we visit around our neighborhood. We even go to larger places," said Hill.

The committee's consensus that a place to have Bingo games, dinners, entertainment, etc., would be a good idea, and it should be centrally located.

"I'm no artist," said DeLeon, as he rendered a sketch of the proposed nursing home campus on the whiteboard.

He showed the campus as it might be configured, with a small administration and reception building facing San Juan Ave.

"Maybe not so linear," said Yoder.

"Sure," said DeLeon. "We have to leave the details to the architect."

He gave some instances in which the architect had changed the plans for Inspiration Field, for reasons the pre-planners had not even considered.

"The first thing is to get the financial feasibility study complete and approved," he said. "I want everyone to think about the planning before the next meeting and to come up with some sketches of your own."

"We want to be the newest and the greatest, but not overdo it," said Hill.

DeLeon said the total tax collection for 2018 was $834,329.24.

"That gives us an idea of total income."

Hill received verbal kudos for investing some of the cash on hand in treasury notes, increasing the interest income from .01 percent to 2.5 percent. The amount for the debt service account is set aside, $417,164.62.

The committee has a contact with a design firm for coming up with a name for the new nursing home and a logo.

The next meeting of the committee is set for 1 p.m.March 27, 1902Santa Fe Ave.

bmcfarren@ljtdmail.com

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(c)2019 La Junta Tribune-Democrat, Colo

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