Hear interview with Architect Jeff Ahl of Lincoln.
Around 250 people attended a groundbreaking Friday on the expansion of the Meadowlark Pointe assisted living facility in Cozad. There will be 12 new assisted living beds and 14 beds in a memory care unit. Paulsen, inc of Cozad is the general contractor on the $5.3 Million project. The Cozad Hospital Foundation has provided the lead donation of $1 Million and gifts to the project continue to be accepted. Cozad Hospital Foundation President Scott Trusdale told KRVN that the Foundation was founded in 1981 with a purpose to promote healthcare. He said that with an aging population “we need these facilities and that need will only grow in the future. So we feel in order to get ahead of things we feel we need to do this.”
In a nod that the Cozad Community Health System is developing the additional senior living capacity for the future, children in the audience joined Foundation Directors in turning the first spades of soil for the groundbreaking.
Jeff Ahl, architect with the Lincoln firm arCuretecture was the architect on the initial facility 12 years ago and returns to design the expansion. He says the memory care unit will allow residents to walk throughout that area and in a secured outdoor facility. He says such and area gives residents the ability to make their own decisions and ” live life as they would, as if they didn’t have any memory care issues.”
But, Ahl says the design also takes into consideration of trying to “reduce the anxiety that tends to hamper the ability to care for people with memory care” by creating a “home-like atmosphere. So the interior truly is set up to be like a home. It’ll be very residential, it’ll be very warm, quiet, serene but, the ability to move around and live just like you would in your home.”
Another design innovation Ahl says it that many assisted living facilities are designed with showers in them but, they’ve found that they tend to “not to get used a lot”. So each of the private assisted living units will be installed with walk-in tubs. “And that’s unique, I have not worked on a project yet where they have done that. It’s something that we suggested as being kind of forward thinking. They embraced it and said ‘let’s spend the money and do it right'”.
Katherine Wilson was the very first resident of Meadowlark Pointe 12 years ago. She says her tenure there has been “delightful”. She living there as being “a joy everyday. Pleasant surroundings. luxurious surroundings, wonderful food, delightful company and grand care.”
She further says that “Meadowlark Pointe has gained such a nice reputation in our town and we are so proud of it. I just can’t be prouder!” Wilson also said “the people who live here are wonderful residents, all very friendly.”
During his remarks, Davis shared some of the significance of healthcare services being provided in Cozad. He listed around 7,500 people seen in Cozad Community Hospital’s Specialty Clinic; 6,000 cared for in physical therapy, Central Plains Home Health staff conducting 7,000 visits while traveling 100,000 miles to see them in 5 counties. There were also 19,000 tests conducted through the CCH laboratory and 12,000 people seen through their medical clinic by 4 providers. On September 1st, Nurse Practitioner Cassandra Munoz will be joining the staff.