St. Clara’s administrators look forward to a big move in January 2018

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[September 06, 2017]  LINCOLN

In January of 2018 residents of St. Clara’s Manor will be moving into a new home on the city’s west side. Nestled in between Castle Manor and Abraham Lincoln Memorial Hospital, a new state of the art long-term care facility is under construction and taking shape nicely.

According to St. Clara’s Administrator Mike Eads and Public Relations and Communications Coordinator Janell Woolard the construction of the new facility is right on track. No exact date has been named for when the transition will take place, but both are confident it will occur in January.

For the residents of St. Clara’s the change is going to be very dramatic as the new location will have more of a homey atmosphere, is all on one level, offers more amenities, and less of a “hospital feel.”

Though long-term care facilities have over the years taken on the label of a nursing “home,” very little about the facilities have felt like a home for residents.

Woolard is excited about the new concept at the new St. Clara’s noting that the hospital feel is gone and there are no more “hospital colors.” She explained that the goal of the new facility is to give residents less of an institutional feeling and more of a feeling of being at home.

In addition to the new facility St. Clara’s will have a new name, St. Clara’s Rehab & Senior Care. The new name is more indicative of the services that will be offered as the facility will become another great option in Lincoln for rehab to home services and physical therapy on an outpatient basis.

Woolard said St. Clara’s has already begun its branding initiative, bringing the new name into use ahead of the opening of the new facility.

Eads and Woolard recently led a walk-through of the new building. While construction is still going on inside, enough work has been completed that one can see what the final outcome will be.

The new St. Clara’s floor plan.

The main entry of the building will offer quick access to the 30 rehab to home rooms as well as the physical therapy room. Coming into the vestibule, a fireplace will be the centerpiece of the area, with the PT room to the right, and the rehab rooms to the left. Woolard pointed out that the rehab area is separated from the long-term care (LTC) wings by the common area and service areas, located in the middle portion of the layout.

The rehab area is shaped as a backward ‘L’ and offers sitting rooms at the end of each wing and other communal areas for family visits while the patient is in the care of St. Clara’s.

Natural lighting will be a big part of the interior, along with walls of live plants to soften the overall image of the building and create a more home-like atmosphere.

Woolard pointed out there are several natural lighting areas throughout these wings and all the rest. Some of these include areas where that living plants will be used to once again, break away from the hospital feel. While the layout of the rooms will be similar in the two wings, color schemes will change giving each room more of a personalized feel.

The rehab courtyard offers walking space as well as access to the stocked fishing pond.

The rehab area will also have its own dining area, and access to a courtyard with a walking area, and also access to the fishing pond between St. Clara’s and Castle Manor.

The common area of the building will house nursing work areas, records, kitchen for the entire building, the long-term care dining hall, and a special feature the Corner Café.

The Corner Café’ will offer a coffee bar, and a wonderful socialization area for residents and visitors.

Woolard and Eads said the Corner Café will provide a coffee bar with tables and seating and access to the LTC courtyard.

The area will be a great location for the active residents to gather, and also for families to come in and enjoy a morning coffee with their loved ones.

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Janell Woolard, PR and Communications Director with Chief Administrator Mike Eads

The Corner Café’ is also a landmark for those who are navigating through the building. Standing looking at the Corner Café, the long-term care portion of the building is divided into two wings, one to the left and one to the right.

The LTC area does have its own entry, and guests coming in to the building will learn that they can go right to access one wing, or go left past the Corner Café’ to access the other. Woolard explained that the two wings are mirror images of each other, with the same number of rooms and the same amenities. Again, each wing is ‘L’ shaped, with the nurse’s area being in the corner of the ‘L.’

The large family room areas will feature seating, television, a fireplace, and a broad view of the long-term care courtyard.

There are large family room areas with access to the LTC courtyard, and the cozier sitting room areas at the end of each wing.

Cozy sitting areas will be located at each of the several wings of the building

Rooms in the new facility for the most part will be private rooms with single occupancy. However, there are going to be a few double rooms.

Eads explained that in the design of the new facility, hearing what the residents had to say was very important. Today, he said, there is a trend toward residents wanting their own rooms. However, some of the residents of the current building have roommates and they have grown accustomed to that companionship, and they don’t want to give it up. “We have worked hard at meeting their (resident) needs. Some want private rooms, but some want to keep a roommate, to have someone to talk to and someone to be with.” Eads said. To accommodate those residents, there are eight double occupancy rooms.

Double occupancy rooms will offer companionship for residents within their rooms, and at the same time afford them a certain amount of privacy.

The double occupancy rooms, are still what one might consider “semi private,” with walls separating the sleeping areas.

Another new feature will be special bariatric rooms, which will feature larger doorways, and in general larger spaces in the living area as well as the bathrooms. Woolard said in total there will be four such rooms.

The administrative offices and conference rooms will be located just inside the LTC entrance and will include conference areas for staff, and also consultation areas where staff can meet with family members for private discussions about the resident care.

Eads and Woolard are excited about getting ready for the move. Eads said one thing that must be done before residents move in will be a staff orientation of the building. It’s a whole new design, all on one floor, and very, very different from what the staff is accustomed to; so bringing them in for an orientation is going to be very important.

“There will be a gap time between the completion of the building and the move in day. That will be a nice time of not being in the way to bring large groups of staff in for tutorials,” Woolard said.

Eads added, “We’re in the process of setting up staff meetings and transition meetings for the move, and we’re doing the same thing for families.”

Woolard added, “These transition meetings will be to make family and caregivers comfortable and (give them) better understanding of what’s going to be happening, what the future is going to look like, and what the move is going to be like for their loved ones.”

With the larger, more spread out footprint, and the additional services, Eads added that there will be an addition of staff. Applications are being accepted now and there will be openings for nursing and CNA staff.

To apply for a position at St. Clara’s visit their website: https://www.heritageof 

[Nila Smith]

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