New friends arrive at Emery Care & Rehab
The Emery County Care and Rehab Center in Ferron is nearing the end of their remodeling process. Center director Alex Stephenson said everything was to be completed in May, but things have taken longer than expected. The center is planning an open house during the Peach Days celebration in Ferron in September. At that time everyone is welcome to come and see the exciting improvements at the care center.
This week the staff is moving into the new kitchen.
Two new residents at the care center are creating quite a stir. The two four month old puppies are a shepherd mix. Stephenson said, "They are the sweetest puppies and the residents love them. We took them to the vet for their shots and our two fine veterinarians Dr. Glen Jensen and Dr. Sharmon Gilbert donated their services for the care of the puppies. We really appreciate them doing this for the residents at our facility. The puppies have an outside kennel and are only allowed in the building during certain times. The residents are so excited. We have had people bring pets into the facility before for pet therapy, but now the residents have dogs to call their own. Lucky is the female and she's yellow and Rowdy is the male and he is black. The residents named the animals," said Stephenson.
Another new addition to the care center will be the gift shop. The gift shop will be used by residents, and they also want to invite the public to come into the facility and purchase items from the gift shop too. The gift shop is looking for volunteers to staff the shop. Pink ladies and other volunteers are needed. The gift shop will be open four hours each day. Homemade items will be found in the gift shop. Any proceeds made from the gift shop will be used to fund resident activities and to buy Christmas presents for all the residents. Funds will be used for day trips, games and exercise equipment. Items for sale at the gift shop will include: balloon bouquets, candy bouquets, cards, stationary, stamps, candy, pop and ice cream. There will be baby blankets and other craft items.
Natalie Anderson said, "We really want the support of the community for the gift shop. We will offer crossword puzzles, picture frames, word search books and other books. We are excited about the gift shop. It will give the residents a little independence in being able to purchase items. We will also order in special requests for our residents. If you have any questions or to volunteer call me or Jayne Richards at 384-2301."
Stephenson said, "Our residents are excited about all of the changes here at the center. They will be able to order what they want from the new kitchen. We will have an ala carte dining system for breakfast. For dinner and lunch they will order from a menu. It will give them a new dining experience. The kitchen is all brand new. The east wing resident rooms are two-three weeks away from completion. The west and south wings are complete and the residents love them. In the east wing five rooms are complete with nine more to go. The east wing is the largest wing. We want everyone to know we are accepting new residents during this time of construction. We have five-six beds open at this time.
"Once the kitchen is moved then the old kitchen will be demolished and a new commons area, large multi-purpose room and chapel will be completed in its place. We will have two dining areas, one in the existing dining room where those residents need more assistance and the other by the new kitchen where residents can have more independence. Our facility is a skilled nursing facility.
"Another exciting event is the arrival of new furniture for the common areas and the resident rooms. New night stands, couches, activity tables and some new power beds will arrive.
"We have 68 full-time employees at the care center and 10-11 part-time as needed employees. Dr. Charles Canfield is our medical director, he is out of Spanish Fork and comes down once a week and he and his staff are on call 24 hours a day. We have 24 hour medical help available. Registered nurses are on duty around the clock. A lot of patient help can be handled over the phone with Dr. Canfield and his staff. Once in awhile we have to send someone out for medical help, and then we call 911 and the Ferron ambulance will transport a patient. Dr. Canfield will be our medical director for the foreseeable future.
"We are quite independent here in our facility. We work closely with Castleview Hospital. We appreciate them and our working relationship. Dr. Canfield is also working with Castleview Hospital for a permanent position.
"We want everyone to know we are open and running a business here inspite of the construction. We hope to be done soon, but we have a ways to go yet.
"We will have some landscaping done, with flower beds, bushes, new grass, etc. We are looking for boy scouts who might be interested in doing an Eagle Scout project for a new sign for the center.
"We are always looking for volunteers to help out at the center. We need volunteers to help with activities, play games with residents, read and visit and man the new gift shop,
"We have new computers for the residents and we need help with setting up email accounts for the residents. They can write letters to families and stay in touch with the computers. We have Skype so they can talk to family far away. We have Wi-Fi access and free Internet for residents and family members who come to visit. The computers are protected with firewalls and use is monitored.
"The residents are ready for the construction to be done, but it is an exciting time to be a resident here at the care center. There will be more open space and common areas for the residents. We have a large screen TV and a Wii gaming system for the residents. Our residents love keeping up on local activities and enjoy the local newspaper and the local television channel.
"If anyone has local art they would like to donate to the care center, we would welcome it. We have a lot of new wall space to decorate. Even if you could email digital pictures, we can have them printed and framed. We have increased community living space, a foyer area, chapel, dining room, brand new offices and a new laundry room that all need art work. We want to create a homey environment for our residents," said Stephenson.
Danny Dudleston is a care center resident and he is the community council president for the residents. "I listen to the residents complaints and I listen when they need someone to talk to. I can speak to the administrator, Alex and to Natalie and express the resident concerns. I am also helping the residents learn to use the computers and training them. I am in charge of the dogs Lucky and Rowdy and I'm working on training the dogs. They have learned to sit, speak, roll and other tricks. The dogs are there for the residents and they can help calm them down. I have been in and out of nursing homes for a long time and this is the best one I have ever been in. Our council meets once a month. We have a few of the residents who participate and we are going to appoint a secretary at our next meeting in August. I am also going to report to the Care Center board in their monthly meeting."
Stephenson said the Emery County Care and Rehab is a big family and there is a lot of community involvement at the center, more than centers in urban areas. "Nationwide residents in rest homes without any contact with family members is 45 percent in a year's time. In Ferron it's 20 percent without contact with family. That doesn't mean they don't have any contact with people. All of our residents receive visits from community. Where there isn't family, we have friends and volunteers who come into our center. Each week we have bands, cloggers, dancers, singers, church groups and numerous visitors to our center. That's why I'm here in Ferron. I like the community, everyone here gets visits," said Stephenson.
Stephenson encourages everyone to watch for the open house in September to celebrate the changes at the care center.