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Retirement Village to add palliative care

Groundbreaking expected in March for new wing
Solon Retirement Village has obtained a Certificate of Need from the state for a new palliative care wingand is expected to break ground on the project in March. (photo by Doug Lindner)

SOLON– Solon Retirement Village has been approved to add a palliative care unit onto its evolving campus, expecting to break ground in March. 
Melissa Reed, who has served as Administrator for nine years at the Solon Retirement Village unit of Solon Nursing Care, said for now, it is being referred to as the Solon Retirement Village Palliative Care Unit, “But we hope to have a more formal name as we get into the process.”
The project was approved in October by the State Certificate of Need board.
Palliative units are similar though distinct from hospice houses, Reed explained.
“The services that will be provided are in-stage care for people that are in their final days,” said Reed.
While hospice units have their own staff devoted just to that area, a palliative unit can make sure there is continuity in care and staff for the patient.Reed said if a patient goes from one of the building’s other units to the palliative wing, the staff can transfer along with them and provide that final stage of care.Though it will possess the special hospice care certification, it will be under the even stricter state and federal guidelines that govern the rest of Solon Nursing Care Center, which was built in 1973.If it did receive that distinction, “Our own staff wouldn’t be able to provide those cares,” said Reed. The patients get pretty attached to the staff, she said.The new unit will feature four suites with each suite able to accommodate family members staying overnight, with a pull-out couch, sleeper sofa, separate bathing areas and eating areas.“So we really wanted families to be able to come, feel comfortable, spend as much time as they want,” Reed said.
Currently, the nursing home, with two people now in most rooms, really isn’t suited for that.“We just want this to be a comfortable and peaceful option for folks,” said Reed.
Reed said the initial phase of the project will be to add a new parking lot.
“And then we’re going to pretty much cut off our parking lot in front.” So the construction can take place without outside interference.The administrator said everything is ready to go and there may be a public ground breaking in May.
“Right now we’re in the stage where we are getting ready to launch some information and do a capital campaign to see if there is some interest in the community, in maybe somebody doing a larger donation,” said Reed.
There will be different naming availabilities open to donors, including each of the rooms, the garden area, chapel area, and possibly even the building itself.“Those are all different options we’re looking at right now,” Reed said.If the public is interested in making a larger donation, Reed can be reached at 319-624-5353 at the Solon Retirement Village. At that point, Reed said, she can sit down with the possible donor in person and discuss it.The palliative unit is coming along at just the right time, Reed suggested.“We don’t have a hospice house in this area, and if somebody needs palliative care, you no longer can go up to the hospital and just stay until end of life with the CMS rights changes,” she said. CMS refers to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.
Reed is proud of the fact Solon Nursing Care is community-owned by the stockholders, and of the progress she has witnessed.She has overseen many changes in her nine years with the center.“In my time, we’ve added the assisted living, the memory care, the skilled, the outpatient therapy, the senior dining, and now the palliative care,” said Reed.
“We like to keep busy.”