Representatives of Valley View Care Home residents told the Douglas County Commission on Wednesday that discussions about the home's future provide an opportunity for sweeping changes in the way the county cares for the elderly.
Ed Dutton, Valley View facilitator, said he would like to see community-based care added to County Administrator Craig Weinaug's list of options. He said institutionalized care was an antiquated way of caring for people who needed only occasional help.
A sketch of Weinaug's four alternatives is: to keep the home as is, providing an annual $200,000 tax subsidy; continue the home, phasing out county tax subsidies; phase out the home over three years, allowing the private sector to accommodate up to 60 displaced residents; or close the current home and build a new facility with updated features.
Commissioner Mark Buhler stressed that the county would not close the home before accommodating current residents.
Hilda Enoch, president of the Kaw Valley Chapter of the Older Women's League, told commissioners they should not focus only on Valley View because it is the immediate concern.
"I ask that you leave no stone untouched" in examining programs to address the needs of the elderly, Enoch said. "I say it's time for vision."
The home's board of trustees has asked that the commission expedite its recommendation on what to do about the facility, 2518 Ridge Ct.
In other action Wednesday, the commission tabled for the second time a request for nine new radios for public works vehicles. The commission is investigating costs of higher frequency, lower power radios.