Ashby Living Center — A home at lastPublished 11:34am Tuesday, October 30, 2012
The Ashby Assisted Living Facility is building its senior community one resident at a time.
Well before the town’s nursing home closed in 2008, a plan for an assisted living facility was in the works by a private group. Construction was completed in 2008, but licensing issues delayed the opening. Later, management issues and lack of residents caused the facility to close within a year.
The state-of-the-art building sat empty for more than two years.
Now under new management, Ashby Living Center, Inc., the home opened July 2012, and is thriving. The facility now hosts five residents, and expects three more in the coming month.
Through the main doors is a common room, appointed like a cozy living room, with plush couches and TVs. According to facility director Vicki Ras, it’s a friendly place to gather.
“The coffee pot is always on and there is a sugary treat,” Ras said. “Not only are we creating a community, but also a family, and therefore a home.”
Residents live in their own studio, or one bedroom apartment, bringing in their own furnishings and décor.
There are 16 light-filled living spaces; eight are studios eight are one bedroom apartments, for a total facility capacity of 24 beds. Each new unit is carpeted and wired for TV service.
While cooking is not done in apartments, each unit has a kitchen sink and dining area, and room for a refrigerator and microwave. Breakfast is made to order whenever the resident chooses to get up in the morning. Lunch and dinner are served family style in the dining room.
A staff of 10 employees provides services that range from personal care to activities. Optional activities for residents are scheduled throughout the day, such as exercise or craft classes, and excursions like “Walmart Wednesday.” Those at the Living Center are free to come and go on their own schedule, and some have their own vehicle.
Residents generally come from the surrounding communities on their own, or by referral from a government agency.
When a person finds they cannot function well at home, or their health has declined, assisted living is an option to continue on with a measure of independence. Even though they are moving into a beautiful new center, the transition can be difficult for some.
“Some people are relieved to have day-to-day details taken care of for them,” Ras said. “Many are transitioning from living in their own home and the loss of independence can be hard.”
Fees start with an apartment rental rate. Each resident is assessed to determine the need for additional services, such as medication administration. Fees are paid privately by families, or may be county-assisted.
“We are thankful people are recognizing we are open here in Ashby,” Ras said. “We are committed to building a home-like environment, one resident at a time.”