Committees discuss future of Menahga's Greenwood Connections
Correction: This article incorrectly reported the number of Green Pine Acres beds that were de-licensed in September. The Menahga City Council approved de-licensing 10 beds in September and a total of 26 beds have been de-licensed gradually over ...
Correction: This article incorrectly reported the number of Green Pine Acres beds that were de-licensed in September. The Menahga City Council approved de-licensing 10 beds in September and a total of 26 beds have been de-licensed gradually over the past two years.
Greenwood Connections has been part of the Menahga community for 45 years, housing an estimated 110 residents in its nursing home and assisted living units.
Today, selling Greenwood Connections is a scary thought on the minds of many residents, but it's only one option of many discussed.
"We have got to come together and quit the sides and division and come up with what's best for the town," council member Kim Rasmussen said.
Three committees met Wednesday to discuss the future of Greenwood Connections.
In September, the city council along with the Greenwood Connections administration decided to de-license 26 beds because of the facility's financial crisis.
Since then, a community input meeting, committee meetings and numerous council discussions ensued, with many more to come before the final decision is made.
Three options on the table are: remodeling the current nursing home and building an assisted living plus unit, building a completely new facility with assisted living plus or selling Greenwood Connections.
"The building can be functional for other things," Roger Henstrof, member of the rebuilding committee said. "To tear down the building, to me that's a waste."
The committees discussed that remodeling the existing Green Pine Acres would attract more residents, however, assisted living plus units built around the area are competing with Greenwood Connections for the same residents.
Although Greenwood Connections administrator Clair Erickson's vision isn't to build a completely new facility with assisted living plus 24-hour care, he wants to beat the competition and keep residents in Menahga.
"The crying need that Menahga needs as a city is assisted living plus," Erickson said. "The nursing home as an entity is not what people want."
The difference between a nursing home, assisted living and assisted living plus comes down to the quality and availability of care.
Traditional nursing homes don't provide 24-hour care, which assisted living plus offers.
Rooms in traditional nursing homes don't offer as many options as assisted living, which include privacy and apartment-style living.
Greenwood Connections has a waiting list for its assisted living unit, Woodside Manor, of about 60 to 75 residents.
The growing demand of assisted living and assisted living plus is a motivation for the committees to vote for remodeling. However, that decision would still leave Green Pine Acres in an unstable condition.
"It still makes the nursing home a black hole," council member Joel Mickelson said.
At the end of a long heated discussion, the committees agreed to find architects to propose quotes on the remodeling and rebuilding options.
The committees also agreed that getting a financial appraisal is part of gathering all kinds of information needed before making a final decision.
Council members emphasized that simply trying to find out how much Greenwood Connections is worth, does not mean the city's philosophy is to get out of elderly care completely.