WARRENSBURG The cafeteria of Countryside Adult Home was filled with people, young and old, as the facility held a picnic for its residents and their friends and families.
We have activities almost all the time, said Countryside Administrator Brenda Brown-Hayes. The residents and the staff decorate for holidays, and coming up soon, well be having our haunted hallway.
Countryside Adult Home is overseen by the Warren County Committee on County Services, chaired by Thurman Supervisor John Haskell.
Our goal is to keep it open and to capacity, Haskell said. It costs the county more to run it when it isnt full. The 60-bed assisted living facility currently has 50 residents, according to Brown-Hayes.
Haskell took over the committee that oversees both Countryside and the Westmount Health Facility about 3 years ago. He started out by cutting overtime and maintenance staff at Countryside while promoting the facility to increase residency. The committee has also replaced windows, kitchen equipment and redecorated.
Brown-Hayes was hired to oversee the facility three years ago as well.
We assist with personal care, bathing, showering, dressing and medications, she said. We have 3 meals a day, snacks and transportation to and from appointments and shopping.
In addition to the many group activities at Countryside, Brown-Hayes said they offer individual activities.
Some of the residents arent as social and well do writing exercises, read to them, play cards or teach them scrap booking, she said. The guys are more inclined to like the one on one activities.
Residents were transported to and from the summer concerts at the bandstand in Warrensburg and enjoy frequent pet visits as well.
We have bake sales where the residents bake and sell their food, and entertainment in the evenings, there is something going on all the time, she said.
Brown-Hayes said that some residents wanted to go shopping more often than the facility could transport them, so last year they opened a small store in the facility. It is stocked with things that are most popular with residents, and it is overseen by the residents council.
The council addresses issues and plans activities, Brown-Hayes said. They are planning a boat trip on Lake George. The subject that comes up the most is the food served at the home.
Thats what gets the most flak, she said. Some residents cant have salt, some are diabetic, so we have to be careful what we serve.
She said that life at Countryside is much healthier for seniors than staying alone at home and just watching TV.
They debilitate much faster, mentally and physically, when they dont go anywhere, she said. We make sure our residents have socialization and care, and we pay attention to the smaller details. The staff becomes family and this becomes home for them.
While Brown-Hayes works with her staff to keep Countryside residents healthy and happy, Haskell works to make the facility efficient and affordable for the county. Many residents need temporary assistance from social services, but some pay privately.
It cost the county about $600,000 in 2007 and we expect it to be about the same in 2008, Haskell said. The county has contracted with the Siemens Company for both Westmount and Countryside to make the facilities cost efficient.
While we make repairs, Siemens puts in energy efficient equipment, Haskell said. They guarantee that our saving on energy will pay for their work, and is working very well at Westmount and Countryside.
For information about Countryside Adult Home contact Brenda Brown-Hayes or Director Deanna Park at 623-3451.