Harmony House is a place to call home | PostIndependent.com

Harmony House is a place to call home

John Gardner
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado

GLENWOOD SPRINGS ” Eighty-three-year-old Bob Andrews sat in his chair, his legs covered with a blanket, and watched the morning news as the snow came down Friday morning at Harmony House.

Bonnie Snyder, 49, sat patiently at the breakfast table waiting for her morning meal.

It was a typical day at home for the two residents, however it’s not actually there home.

“Our tag line is, ‘If you can’t stay in your own house, stay in ours’,” said Harmony House owner and operator Patty McKinney.

McKinney, an occupational therapist and her husband Leo McKinney started Harmony House in May 2007 after buying a home across the street from their previous home. They then turned their previous house into a home for people who needed more than an assisted living facility could offer, but were still independent enough to not need to be placed in a nursing home.

After years of working in a nursing home, Patty said that she often saw people that fit in the niche between the two.

“There are people that I would see that couldn’t go home but couldn’t get into an assisted living because they don’t’ help with certain things,” Patty said.

So, when they moved into their new home the McKinneys thought it was a perfect time to offer those people a different home for long term care.

“I look at people as if they were my parents and what I would want for them,” Patty said. “That is the reason I got into it.”

Their mission is to provide 24-hour personal care services for elderly or physically challenged people who don’t require medical support on a day-to-day basis.

They provide a home for people who probably would not have one of their own, otherwise. And they’ve exceeded their goal.

“I think we’ve hit it,” Leo said. “The goal was really focused on the idea of providing a place that is very much a home and I feel like, for the most part, we’ve been able to achieve that.”

Leo began his Friday by crossing the street and paying a visit to Andrews and Snyder.

“Either of us will pop in two or three times a day,” Leo said about himself and Patty. “But we aren’t here all day long.”

For the McKinneys, it’s kind of like having a second family across the street, no like having a full-time job.

“It kind of is,” Patty confirmed.

But for the residents, it’s more like a home of their own. They help with cooking and cleaning if they want to and Leo said that Andrews likes to help carry in the groceries.

“I’d be sick all the time if I wasn’t here. It’s a nice place,” Andrews said. “They let you alone and they don’t over supervise you.”

For Snyder, who has lived in a nursing home in the past where she would spend a lot of time alone in her room, Harmony House is a dream come true.

“This is a much nicer place because people do things with me,” Snyder said. “They play game with me and fun stuff. They take good care of me.”

After an addition is complete, the house will have six individual bedrooms for residents. Currently, they only have three residents. But if they get more, Snyder said he won’t mind. He said that it’s not like living with roommates, but it’s like living with her friends.

It’s that kind of reaction that the McKinneys were hoping to achieve.

“There wasn’t an option in the valley for someone that doesn’t need 24-hour nursing care,” Patty said. “So, that is what kind of inspired me to start Harmony House.”

Contact John Gardner: 384-9114


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