USDA Funding “Makeovers” for Rural Senior Care Communities

A partnership between the private and public sectors is helping to create more of the comforts of home in Wisconsin senior living residences.

With funding from U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Development’s Community Facilities Programs and AgStar Financial Services, three skilled nursing facilities in western Wisconsin are getting a makeover, according to a blog post from USDA.

Through new construction, Baldwin Care Center, Glenhaven, and Colfax Health & Rehabilitation will undergo renovations that provide more privatized living quarters for residents.

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Stepping away from the design of room-sharing living spaces and bathrooms, the new settings look to create a more intimate environment to receive care, according to developers. 

“Expanding and updating these facilities allows staff to continue providing exceptional resident care for seniors, which is crucial for aging rural communities,” AgStar Associate Vice President Bob Madsen said in the post.

Baldwin Care Center’s new facility is nearly halfway to completion with a grand opening scheduled for this summer, according to USDA. The facility will move from its mostly double-occupancy rooms to one that features 50 beds, all in private rooms except for two reserved for couples.

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The facility will also be converted into a Community Based Residential Facility with a memory care unit, reports USDA. 

“I think the thing that the residents are looking forward to most would be the privacy afforded by the private rooms,” said Eileen LaFavor, Baldwin Care Center Administrator. “I believe what they are going to enjoy most when they move in, is the sense of home. Their new home will truly look and feel like ‘home’ with their private suite, and the comfortable living and dining areas to spend time with family and friends, in addition to the accessible outdoor courtyard areas.”

Baldwin’s new center is funded by a USDA direct loan and a guaranteed loan, reports the post. 

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Seventeen miles northeast of Baldwin is Glenhaven, which has its own designs in place that USDA says will bring its residents greeter privacy and comfort. 

Glenhaven’s new 50,000-square-foot addition will feature 44 new beds, inpatient and outpatient therapies, a cafe and a media center. The project looks to add 15 more jobs to its current staff of 90 employees. 

“Rural Development and AgStar are the only way we can do this,” said David Prissel, Glenhaven Administrator.  “The two working together have been seamless.  The paperwork only took four months rather than the nine months normally projected.”

Colfax Health & Rehabilitation Center sits about a half hour east of Glenwood City, notes USDA. 

Opening in August 2013, the “outdated” Colfax will be a newly constructed facility outfitted with updates to get the building up to safety codes, including a sprinkler system. 

Because of the building’s age, Administrator Jill Gengler said that a new facility made the most sense. 

“The Board of Directors is committed to improving and expanding health care services to the seniors of this community in a fiscally responsible manner and in 2009 the organization was awarded a property incentive from the State of Wisconsin to aid in the development and construction of this proposed project,” Gengler said in the post.

Colfax’s new facility will be licensed for 70 patients, 40 of which from the current facility and 30 assisted living residents. It will also feature a dementia care program, feature private bathrooms, and contain several family gathering areas. 

Aside from these three facility upgrades, USDA says there are several more projects in the works.

Read the USDA blog post.

Written by Jason Oliva