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Rehab center renovates, adds suites
[April 03, 2012]

Rehab center renovates, adds suites

PLYMOUTH, Apr 03, 2012 (South Bend Tribune - McClatchy-Tribune Information Services via COMTEX) -- Shorter stays are a national nursing home industry trend, but regardless of their time in rehabilitation, patients count on the "comforts of home." They want private suites, cable television and wireless connections so they can e-mail or post notes on Facebook to family far away, said Erin Ginter, executive director and administrator at Miller's Merry Manor in Plymouth.

And patients expect hotel-like amenities and services at rehab facilities, she said, whether their visit will be short, for example after an acute illness such as pneumonia, or a much longer stay is scheduled, such as after hip replacement.

"Patients will come in with iPads and laptops, wanting to communicate with their families that way," Ginter said. "So we're renovating and adding to our private suites to meet the demand." The Warsaw-based company has invested $650,000 in the renovations now under way at the Plymouth center, located at 635 Oakhill Ave.

The work got under way in December and will be completed in early May.

"We've been discussing how we can create this environment since I came on two years ago," Ginter said. "We've been completing the project in stages, because when a hospital calls with a patient ready for discharge (to rehab), we have to be ready." When renovations are complete, Miller's Merry Manor will offer 21 private rehabilitation suites, up from 16 rooms. Suites will contain new furnishings and services, including electric beds, cable television and WiFi.

The remodeled rehab unit also will contain a private dining room where patients can order from a menu, an enhanced therapy gym, two lounges and a large courtyard for patients.

Patients primarily are seniors older than age 70, and their average length of stay in the unit is 28 days.

The rehab building also contains long-term care and an Alzheimer's unit, while a separate assisted-living center offers 54 apartments.

Ginter said the improvements are not ending here. A second phase is already being planned in Plymouth.

"We intend on adding additional therapy space, a therapeutic pool and other services on-site," Ginter said, noting how similar changes will be made at the Culver rehab center, too.

The Plymouth center, which opened in 1969, was the second of the 32 nursing home and rehabilitation centers that Miller's Merry Manor currently operates across the state of Indiana.

Staff writer Heidi Prescott: 574-235-6070 ___ (c)2012 the South Bend Tribune (South Bend, Ind.) Visit the South Bend Tribune (South Bend, Ind.) at Distributed by MCT Information Services

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