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An inside look at new Rock Haven

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Greg Peck
May 17, 2013

I found the scene rather fitting. Wednesday morning I pulled up at the Village Commons, near the main offices at Rock County’s new Rock Haven Nursing Home. There, a mother goose had found the surroundings so tasteful that she nested among the bushes planted outside the administrative offices.

A staffer at the front office said they’ve dubbed her “Mabel” and her gander “Marvin.” Mabel nested there unaware of the buzz of activity to come. Monday brought “organized chaos” as staffers and volunteers rolled residents in wheelchairs into the new nursing home and brought many of the furnishings from the old building, as well. Mabel decided the new place is too comfortable to leave, however, and I’m betting the 120 or so residents inside are finding their new home comfortable, as well.

My tour made it obvious: The new Rock Haven complex is a far cry from the antiquated institution many of these residents lived in for years next door.

What about those cost reported overruns? Well, here's one example. I got an inside look at a sprinkler the state required to be installed in the closet of each resident's room. We're not talking about walk-in closets; rather, the closets have four large drawers on the bottom, and the doors begin above these to cover clothes hanging on a rod. Except you apparently can't hang clothes on the side of the rod where the sprinkler is because they'd be too close to the sprinkler to meet code. So perhaps place shoes or pile clothes on the base of this side of the cubbyhole instead. Talk about a state code that appears too stringent.

But I digress. What does the new facility offer that the old one doesn’t? What about those repeated delays in opening it? Is the new facility too sprawling for employees to work efficiently?

And just who are these people? Couldn’t the county have saved money by getting out of the nursing home business, like some counties have done?

We’ll share our insights and perspectives in our editorial Sunday.

Greg Peck can be reached at (608) 755-8278 or gpeck@gazettextra.com. Or follow him on Twitter or Facebook



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