By Teresa L. Benn
SAGUACHE COUNTY— Thanks to the community spirit, leadership and generosity of long-time resident and pro-active citizen Byron Williams, Valley to Valley Senior Care Center is quickly moving forward with its new senior care campus facilities just a mile east of Saguache on Highway 285. A sign will soon be erected to mark the development site.
Many other citizens, the county, and the town of Saguache have also come forward with pledges of financial and ‹in-kind’ donations, CEO Eve Braden said in a recent email. Saguache County has donated funds through their sales tax grants to the center and will donate the road work necessary to build a road and clear the land for the center. The care center’s progress can be tracked on the facility’s newly updated website, www.valleytovalley.net
Currently Valley to Valley Senior Care Center in Salida already reaches into northern Saguache County, including Saguache, Moffat, Villa Grove and the Poncha Pass area, offering pickup and delivery of seniors. Valley to Valley also serves Nathrop. Seniors receive personal attention at the center and can enjoy socialization, fun activities, two meals a day, outings and all necessary nursing supervision throughout the day.
The planned respite and day care center in northern Saguache County will offer greater ease of transportation and improved service to seniors and their families, Braden said.
At the Art Walk in Saguache last month, Braden announced that over $800,000 has been raised for the center. She invites county residents to visit her booth at the Fall Festival Saturday, see the floor plan and sign up for assisted living and/or respite care.
“There is work being done on ‘Go Fund Me’ and we also have a letter of excellence from the Better Business Bureau,” Braden said. “I see the hand of God moving in sooooo many directions it is thrilling. Stay tuned for more updates.”
Braden and her fellow colleague Debbie recently renewed their certifications with the state as dementia specialists. All personnel at the new center will have direct training in Alzheimer’s and dementia, teamwork and other necessary training.
According to content posted on the Valley to Valley website, the 10-acre parcel of land donated to ‹V2V› on Highway 285 is located on flat ground with direct highway access.
The community has expressed an urgent need for the facility resulting in a willingness to encourage the project in every practical way at their disposal; including proposed waiver of development fees, accelerated entitlement and permitting, teaming on utilities acquisition and extensions, etc.
It is believed that from an entitlement and permitting standpoint construction at the site could proceed within a very few months. The property will need to be served by a “commercial-exempt” water well, an individual on-site sewage disposal system sized for the contemplated facility or an extension of town’s wastewater system out to the site, electrical power, telecommunications and natural gas utilities, all constructed in accordance with applicable specifications and regulations.
On-site improvements will include grading of the site, extension of utilities to the building itself, excavation for building construction, decorative fencing as desired, seeding and landscaping (only if adequate water resources can be obtained) driveway and parking surfacing as needed and signage.
The basic needs for this 4,000 square-foot respite and assisted living facility will include space to accommodate the following:
• Entry vestibule (weather seal)
• Customer lobby/waiting room
• Handicapped accessible toilet & bath facilities
• Four assisted living (AL) rooms w/twin bed
• Three two-person respite bedrooms w/2 twin bed each
• Two patient toilet/bath rooms
• Food storage area
• Mechanical and storage for maintenance, grounds keeping and gardening tools, supplies, etc.
• Staff break and rest space
• Library to accommodate both selection and reading activity
• Dining room: to comfortably accommodate up to 12 diners, plus serve staff break needs and random access to beverages and snacks.
• Commercial kitchen: Food preparation and serving facilities to suit dining and serving capabilities
• Lounge area: will need to accommodate leisure activity such as reading, tv watching, conversation, games activity all with access to outdoor patios. Needs easy access to handicapped accessible toilet facilities
• Crafts and exercise room w/ outdoor access
• Administrative office
All facilities will be ultra-accessible and user-friendly to all varieties of handicaps throughout, keeping in mind that either customers or caregiver employees may be handicapped in any number of different ways.
Ceilings in lounge area and general-purpose areas will be high to keep the feeling open and airy and to encourage peace of mind, quiet enjoyment and ease of observation by caregiver personnel. Lighting will be variable to stimulate any variety of circumstances for lounging and relaxation purposes.
The best way to donate to the facility is by mail, Braden said. Donations can be sent to Valley to Valley, P.O. Box 769, Salida CO 8120.