MONROE — Having a private, customizable room and bathroom in a newly-sided, revamped building should soon be an option for all residents moving into a Green County-run rehab and skilled nursing facility.
Pleasant View Nursing Home will be completing a number of improvement projects after successfully applying for a $2.2 million Community Development Block Grant from the state Department of Administration, said Terry Snow, Administrator of Pleasant View Nursing and Rehab.
Inside the building, “the goal is to get away from our shared bathrooms, so every resident can have their own bathroom and their own room,” said Jeremy Broge, supervisor of environmental services.
“We want a nice, home-like environment,” Snow said.
“There’s no place like home … (and) it’s hard to give up your home or downsize,” she added, so the aim at the facility is to “make it as personal as possible” and to “create the best possible living conditions” for the residents.
It is the reason families can now bring in furniture, technology, artwork and the like for the residents and is a big step up from how things were when Snow started in the industry, she said. At that time, the rooms were often just set up with a bed, a table and a bulletin board on the wall.
Q&A on facility changes
■ When: 3 p.m., May 10
■ Where: Pleasant View Nursing Home community room, RSVP required.
■ Zoom ID: 843 1781 5289
■ More information: 608-325-8992 or www.pleasantviewnursinghome.org
Now, they are customizable living spaces.
When Snow’s dad became a resident at Pleasant View, he called his room his “apartment,” and Snow said that with the private design, it is like residents have their own efficiency apartments.
“We don’t want to just pack people in,” Snow said, commenting that even in the last decade, the dynamic of nursing homes has changed a lot.
While it used to be common for two residents to stay in each room, with the changes Pleasant View is making, their facility will have just four shared rooms for those who want that style of housing — like couples or people who feel safer with a roommate, Snow said.
At present, some of the resident rooms share a bathroom that sits between them. Getting away from that both for the comfort of residents and for the sake of infection control is one of the aims of this upcoming renovation project, Snow said.
Though the upgrades will decrease their capacity limitation from 110 to 96, with just 70-some residents at present, “It won’t change our availability to people who need us,” Snow said. “We still have plenty of room.”
Pleasant View will also be making upgrades on the outside of the building — constructed in 1969 — with the funds, Broge said.
The windows currently may be “functionable,” but they are “not very energy efficient,” Broge said. The plan is to swap these out and put siding on the front of the building.
They plan to spray some sealer on the building’s face while they are at it, Broge added, since the “wear and age” has led to some moisture beginning to seep in at some sites.
The grant funding should tentatively be enough to cover the costs of all of their plans, Broge said, despite the COVID-19 pandemic increasing a number of construction-related prices.
The hope is that they will be able to start progressing on the next phase of work this summer, Snow said. They will have it completed at least by October 2022, Broge added, since that is when the grant cycle ends.
Residents will still be able to stay in the building as the projects are taking place, Broge said. They have a safety plan in place and will shift them around rooms temporarily as needed to make it work.
Pleasant View is also in the process of renovating one of its units to be a respite care unit to stabilize people with dementia, after earning a Crisis Stabilization Incentive Award for Long-Term Care, Snow said.
The facility got more than $271,000 to renovate the area into a short-term care site for people with dementia who have wandered away from home or become aggressive.
During the 28 days or less that they are there, staff will be able to help their caregivers come up with a plan to either take them home safely or to situate them in a long-term care facility.
They have put in the application for the license and are hoping to have approval to proceed by June.
These new innovations to Pleasant View are part of a series of improvements.
“We’ve done a lot for this facility over the last couple of years,” Broge said.
They ran a feasibility study in 2015, Snow said, and in 2016 due to some “very good financial management, we had close to $1 million of funds that we could put toward renovation.”
They began a round of improvements that ended up costing about $1.1 million, and “that was paid for. We did not have to take a loan out for that,” Snow said.
The remodel involved moving the administration wing downstairs and putting the therapy area in its former place.
They renovated several resident spaces to provide them with single-occupancy bathrooms instead of shared ones and converted the old garage space into a new reception area.
Pleasant View also put up a drive-under to ensure that residents can get transferred from the building to a vehicle waiting to pick them up in an area shielded from the elements.
The home upgraded its power system since the previous one had “exceeded its time,” Broge said.
They also recently put in chillers so that all of the residents’ rooms have heat and tempered air, Broge said.
Previously, they had to bring in and take out up to 120 air conditioning units every year, since the residents’ rooms weren’t air conditioned, Snow said.
The building wasn’t designed to handle the load of all of those units, so making the switch was key, Broge said.
The new setup uses water for heating and cooling, so it’s a “cleaner, efficient system,” Snow said.
They put in a building automation system that staff can monitor offsite to help ensure residents’ comfort, too, Broge added.
Fundraising that the Friends of Pleasant View Foundation has done has also helped the home create a garden in the backyard.
“It is parklike — you could have a wedding back there,” Snow said.
There is a walking path, and the facility brought in a landscaper to design some inner garden areas there.
There is also play equipment set up for grandkids or great-grandkids who stop by.
They put up raised planters on-site, and some of the residents like to help grow vegetables, tomatoes and the like in them, Broge said.
“We have some residents who do literally want to spend all of their time back there,” he quipped.
Now Pleasant View has its eyes on its next steps for improvement.
Snow and Broge attributed the facility’s ability to be able to make improvements to the Friends of Pleasant View Foundation members, the community — which has supported them with fundraisers and referendums — and the Green County Board of Supervisors.
Its members “hold us to the straight and narrow,” Snow said, but have given the home the go-ahead to progress with changes if they can explain why they are important and how they will finance them.
Anyone hoping to learn more about the facility’s upcoming projects and those wishing to provide feedback or ask questions may attend a public forum at 3 p.m. May 10.
Registration is required to attend the in-person meeting at the community room of the home. The number to call to sign up or to ask a question is 608-325-8992.
The meeting will also be streamed online through Zoom. Login information will be posted on www.pleasantviewnursinghome.org.
You asked, we delivered
New changes happening at Pleasant View
Pleasant View Skilled Nursing and Rehab has been providing 24-hour rehabilitative, long term, and dementia care since 1969. Many updates to the facility have been completed and more are scheduled for later this year. These updates all offer better services to residents now and for decades to come.
Supporting the elderly population with high quality and compassionate care takes an entire community, and Green County does just that. Generous donations have supported many projects throughout Pleasant View, including those from family and friends, community organizations and service groups, and local supporters.
In addition, prudent financial management and being awarded several grants allowed Green County the ability to finance these renovation projects. These include:
● The Friends of Pleasant View Foundation raised funds estimated at $45,000, through generous donations and memorial gifts to finance the backyard gardens and walking paths, taking advantage of the beautiful location and vast outdoor spaces.
● Non-lapsing funds from 2016 and 2017 financed the Phase One renovation project of $1,100,000 that included the conversion of the three car garage to a new front entrance and lobby, a porte cochère, a new Rehab Gym, four renovated resident rooms with private full bathrooms, and a renovated office area.
● In June of 2019 Pleasant View was the recipient of the Crisis Stabilization Incentive Award for Long Term Care in the amount of $271,822 to renovate a unit that would provide respite care and stabilization for those with dementia.
● In September of 2020 Pleasant View received a $2,225,980 Community Development Block Grant — Public Fund Award from the Wisconsin Department of Administration. These funds will be used to finance the replacement of all windows, update the exterior siding and add private bathrooms to resident rooms that have shared bathrooms.