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Just like home

Salem Home receives award from state Department of Commerce

Staff writer

“I believe a community is judged by the care they give their elderly,” Marguerite Goertz of Hillsboro said about her experiences living at Salem Home. “I would give it an A+.”

In August 2008, Salem Home of Hillsboro began an effort to provide its residents an atmosphere more like a home than a hospital.

Goertz moved to Salem Home about the same time, she said. She has two daughters, one in California and another in Texas, but she chose to stay in Hillsboro.

“My life was in Hillsboro, therefore this is my home,” she said.

She was pleased that she was able to decorate her room with her own furniture. Outside of her room is a painting of flowers she painted, dated 1971. On the walls of her room are several paintings by her second husband.

Part of the transition to more personal care was giving residents more choice about food and schedules. Goertz appreciates being able to do things at her own pace and according to her own schedule.

“I have never in my two years seen anybody lose patience with a resident,” she said. “As far as I’m concerned Salem is not an ordinary nursing home.”

To go along with the changes in care, Salem Home has made aesthetic changes to move away from the institutional model, Salem Home Administrator Kelly Schlehuber said.

The nursing home remodeled much of the interior to look less like a hospital. The city of Hillsboro, which owns the building, provided about $35,000 for renovation. The rest of the project has been paid for with Salem Home’s revenue, Schlehuber said.

“There’s a little bit of chaos when you remodel, but it was kept to a minimum,” she said.

Salem Home officials also have plans to renovate the building’s exterior, she said.

For its efforts to make residents more at home, Salem Home received a Kansas Department of Commerce Merit Award, which was presented Tuesday.

Other Hillsboro businesses receiving Merit Awards were Greenhaw Pharmacy, Hillsboro Ford, and Kid’s Connection. The awards recognize business that contribute to economic development, community leadership, and community service.

Last modified July 14, 2010

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