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Maple Ridge: Not your grandma or grandpa's nursing home

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[June 19, 2008]  Licensed nursing home administrator Michelle Eyrse wanted to use the occasion to announce a staffing change at Maple Ridge Care Centre and Retirement Village. Christy Bahn has been promoted to director of nursing.

RestaurantBahn was previously the assistant director at Maple Ridge. She is a Lincoln native and a mother of three. Her background includes 12 years as an emergency room nurse at Abraham Lincoln Memorial Hospital.

Bahn's big job responsibilities include supervision of nursing staff, budget management, staff education and scheduling.

However, Bahn believes that her most important job -- and this is echoed by Eyrse -- is patient care.

Currently Maple Ridge has 113 residents who are being cared for by 25 nurses and 40 nurse's aides.


Both Eyrse and Bahn wanted to explain that the perception that many people have of "nursing homes" is different than what Maple Ridge is dedicated to. "When we have a new resident, we work to rehabilitate them, get them up to par and then return them to their home," Eyrse explained.

When asked how many residents had "graduated" to going home this year, both Eyrse and Bahn immediately knew the answer: 43.

The center also isn't a facility for just senior citizens, although a great many older area residents do call Maple Ridge their home. The age of those receiving care ranges from as young as 18; others who are in their 30s or 40s are also receiving care and treatment at the institution.

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Nursing Homes


When asked what the difference was between working in an emergency room, and now being in charge of nursing at the center, Bahn had an immediate response. "In an ER, you help a person and then they go on. Here I get to spend time and really get to know the people, and their families as well. We become involved; we take the time to let them know we will take care of them."

Eyrse acknowledged that this empathy with residents and their families is very important at Maple Ridge. "I had to place my mom here six years ago," she said. "I understand what the people and their families are going through when someone is admitted."

The new respiratory wing, now a year old, brings in many individuals for care from all areas of the state, and even from around the country. Eyrse stated that she has fielded inquiries from all over, and their respiratory wing currently includes a Floridian.

Walking the halls with both Eyrse and Bahn shows that they really do know their residents. Stopping and ducking in and out of rooms to say hello to residents, they both stopped and beamed when we came to a room halfway down the respiratory wing. The woman currently being cared for was going to be going home in the next day or so without having to take a respirator with her.

It looks like the graduation number at Maple Ridge for this year will now get bumped to 44 ... and counting.


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