Baldwin — A consultant's report and comments from the public at a meeting Thursday appeared to give the thumbs-up sign to constructing an assisted-living wing at the Orchard Lane Nursing Facility in Baldwin, according to the nursing home administrator.
"I think it went pretty positively for going ahead," said Ralph Garrison. "The board has not met to act on retaining an architect, but the discussion led me to believe they probably will get an architect lined up to do some preliminary work."
Orchard Lane Nursing Facility is owned by the city and leased to a management company.
Architects would study the proposed site of the wing, which would create a physical link between the nursing home and Orchard Lane Apartments, a housing complex for senior citizens. Architects also would develop cost estimates for the addition, Garrison said.
The assisted-living center would provide temporary rooms for people in need of extra support. The residents would take care of themselves for the most part, but they would be served meals in a dining room and receive any needed assistance, such as with their laundry, distribution of medication, or scheduling of doctor's appointments.
"IT WOULD be for people who needed some supervision in their daily activities, perhaps some assistance with personal hygiene care or medication," said Garrison. "It's for people who can't quite make it on their own, yet they don't need nursing surveillance."
The center could provide a transition between independent living in a house or apartment and around-the-clock care in a nursing facility. Or it could provide temporary care during recovery from an injury or surgery, when a person might be unable to handle all day-to-day tasks.
During Thursday's public meeting, the approximately 25 people in attendance heard a report from Steven Vick, a representative of the Wichita consulting firm Sterling Holdings Inc. The consultants conducted a demographic survey of the area within a 10-mile radius of Baldwin to determine the need for an assisted-living center.
"IT LOOKS like we can support some addition to our nursing home, certainly some upgrading and renovation of it, and it looks like there is a market for some assisted-living beds," Garrison said.
He said the nursing home board probably will meet before the end of the month to vote on whether to proceed with construction plans. If the project gets the go-ahead, a 15- to 20-bed facility could be completed within 12 to 18 months, he said.