New skilled nursing home dedicated in West Point

October 6, 2018

WEST POINT — St. Joseph Hillside Villa’s 54-bed skilled nursing care community at West Point had its grand open house on St. Francis Day, which happened to be Thursday, Oct. 4.

Archbishop George Lucas had the 1 p.m. blessing and dedication.

The newest $14 million building in West Point is at almost the highest-elevation in town, directly across the street north of St. Francis Memorial Hospital.

The completion and dedication was the fruition of a discussion that started years ago.

“This is an answer to a long time community need,” said Sister Joy Rose, a representative of the Franciscan Sisters of Christian Charity as the longtime talked about and much needed facility was blessed and opened for public viewing.

Archbishop George Lucas asked for God’s blessing on the new area, erected for the care of the elderly, and on all those who will be residents, their families, and those who devote themselves to the service and support of the residents at St. Joseph’s Hillside Villa.

“It is amazing how this came together,” Lucas said. “Your faith and hard work and partnership with the Franciscan Sisters made this a reality.”

Entering the spacious south side front foyer with the welcoming reception desk to the left and a fireplace enhanced living room to the right is a stone-braced wall with St. Joseph Hillside Villa inscribed.

“We want this place to feel like home,” said administrator David Deemer of Oakland, a Tekamah native, who has began administrating duties Feb 5, of St. Joseph’s Elder Services, which covers both St. Joseph’s Retirement Community and St. Joseph’s Hillside Villa.

Deemer said the structure brings skilled nursing home to an upscale level, providing residents with amenities not previously available.

“To feel at home you need a ‘neighborhood.’ We have three pods — distinct areas that we call neighborhoods,’ ” Deemer said.

To the left is a spacious hall leading to a pod, in this case, “neighborhood.”

There are three neighborhood living areas, each color-coded and equipped with their own spa that doubles as a storm shelter and private medical examining rooms.

The center core comes together with a living room, three dining areas, activity room, beauty shop, sunroom and back porch.

“Graystone is a west wing. Fountain View and Lakeview extend to the north, with a landscaped courtyard separating them. Everything is within your neighborhood,” Deemer said..

Each private and semi-private room is spaciously equipped with bed, wardrobe, dresser and bedside table provided. Amenities include individual climate-controls for heat and cooling, and hook-ups for TV, and electronics. Bathrooms have vanities and showers or tubs to suit the individual’s selection. Closets have sliding doors. Each room has double hung windows allowing maximum light.

Semi-private rooms have three-fourth walls, which replace curtains, with a shared bath with two vanities.

Floor-to-ceiling windows enhance a west-facing sunroom. A back porch effect room faces the north looking out to a landscaped courtyard.

St. Francis Hospital Rehabilitation and wellness services will extend from St. Francis Hospital across the street to the skilled care home.

The food service area is located in the center of the building. Easy access for employee entry and service deliveries are to the east, with ample employee parking on the east off Washington Street.

The front-facing door to the right opens to chapel and community rooms with a kitchen area and space for 100 guests. The community room is open to the public when not in use by families of residents.

The chapel with a stained-glass window of St. Joseph and the child Jesus faces the south front. The chapel’s tabernacle and altar statues of Mary were from the St. Francis Chapel at St. Mary’s Convent Chapel.

State certification is expected in the next few months.

A waiting list of potential guests is being compiled. Department heads have been hired. Employees are being recruited.

Sister Rose said carrying for the total medical needs of the community from birth through life retirement and old age has been a long time vision of the Franciscan Sisters.

“It is the community. It is the volunteers, the monetary donations, the leadership, planning, giving, and community and surrounding communities that made it happen,” she said.

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