Janesville67.6°

County nursing home getting rave reviews

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Mike Heine
December 17, 2007
— “Find someone who doesn’t like this place,” Lakeland Health Care Center resident Marilyn Ingalls said of her home.

Easier said than done.


Ingalls, 76, is one of 120 residents at the nursing home run by Walworth County. Almost everyone in the 18-month-old facility seems happy, she said.


“I feel like it’s home to me,” said Ingalls, who has been a resident at county facilities for five years.


It took some adjusting for everyone who was in the old Lakeland Health Care Center and who moved into the new facility in July 2006, Ingalls said.


With smaller household units, residents are together as large groups less often, and the nursing patterns changed, Ingalls said.


Residents also started occupying private rooms, Ingalls said.


Vicki Gorden, admissions coordinator, characterized the move as great.


“It’s more like a home,” Gorden said. “People don’t feel like they’re coming to an institution to die. They’re coming here to live and to live out their life in a pleasant environment and a home-life environment.”


Room requests are soaring, with about 40 to 50 requests every month. Gorden calls candidates based on availability—memory care, short-term care or medical care—to fill openings.


“They love their private rooms. They love that it’s fewer people in the households,” Gorden said. “It’s much more home-like.”


Residents can come and go from their rooms as they please, including grabbing late-night snacks from household kitchens. They can schedule their own baths or showers, which previously had been dictated by nursing staff, said Katie Quintanilla, director of nursing Quintanilla said.


“They direct their care as to what time they want to get up, or if they want to stay up until midnight or 1 a.m., they can do that,” she said.


“It’s on their schedule instead of ours. That’s where long-term care is headed.”



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