Rifle celebrates groundbreaking for its new nursing home facility
Longtime Rifle residents Joan McKeon and Doug Sours are grateful to receive the elder care they need right in their home town. They are particularly excited to see a brand new care center going up right outside their windows.
“I love it,” Sours, a Rifle native who resides at the E. Dene Moore Care Center, said at a Friday groundbreaking for the brand new Grand River Health Care Center that’s about to be built.
“A bathroom of your own, the new commons area, all that good stuff,” he said on a bright, sunny and not-too-cold March afternoon at the construction site on the east hillside of Rifle.
“I’m just tickled to death to get in.”
McKeon worked as a housekeeper at the E. Dene Moore facility 30 years ago, and has been a resident for almost three years.
“It’s the best. I couldn’t ask for better care,” she said.
And the new facility will be even better, McKeon said, especially “my own bathroom.”
The new facility is part of a larger $89.4 million bond issue that was approved by Grand River Hospital District voters in 2017. The package includes the new long-term nursing care center that’s being built next to the existing E. Dene Moore facility, and a forthcoming expansion at the hospital in South Rifle.
The new care center is designed with a “neighborhood concept,” consisting of five sections and a total of 87 rooms. Each private room will have its own bathroom.
Four of the sections will focus on long-term care and skilled nursing, while the fifth, with 15 rooms, is dedicated to memory care.
“This is truly a wonderful day,” Ed Weiss, president of the Grand River Health Board, said at the ground breaking ceremony, attended by well over 100 people.
“This facility has been designed to give its residents a great lifestyle and allow them to stay close to their families,” he said. “This will be wonderful community asset that will be enjoyed for many years to come.”
Jim Coombs, CEO at Grand River Health, noted that 10,000 people a day are turning age 65 in the United States.
“The number of people over age 65 is expected to double in the coming years, and that’s going to drive the need for these kinds of services,” he said.
Coombs recalled when the time came for his family to find care for his aging grandmother.
“I really gained an appreciation for the wonderful people that helped my mother as she took care of my grandmother,” Coombs said. “And I’m really appreciative to be a part of that process here in our community.”
Rifle Mayor Pro-Tem Theresa Hamilton talked about the city historically stepping up to provide quality health care for area residents, and providing hope as people got older.
“This does bring us hope that if or when any of us need that long-term care, or that memory care, you’re going to have a place locally where you’re going to be able to have that kind of care given to you, and you’re not going to have to travel,” Hamilton said.
Also speaking at the ground breaking event were Rifle residents Natalie Bowman and Joe Carpenter, who led the campaign to convince voters to pass the bond issue in November 2017.
Other speakers included Garfield County Commissioner Mike Samson, Dr. Peter Schaiberger, who practices internal medicine at Grand River, and Kenda Spaulding, administrative director of extended care services for Grand River.
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