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June 22. 2014 10:27PM

Task force recommends new Cheshire County nursing home

KEENE — County Commissioners voted to accept a report Tuesday that proposes the county build a new county nursing home in Keene to replace the existing and outdated Maplewood Nursing Home in Westmoreland.

The project is expected to cost $30 million, but half of that could be funded by tax credits, County Commissioner Chairman John Pratt said Friday.

Additionally grants could reduce the total cost to under $10 million, he said.

“The net to the taxpayers over a five- or six-year period could be less than $10,” Pratt said.

The report was compiled by a task force formed to study the 45-year-old facility in Westmoreland that is need of a major renovation.

“The fundamental decision the task force had to make was, do we stay in the nursing home business, and there was no requirement that we do, but if we don’t where do these people go,” Pratt said.

Maplewood is home to 150 residents, Pratt said. The task force decided the county should continue to offer the safety-net for residents with no or dwindling resources for nursing home care.Renovating Maplewood is estimated to cost around $60 million. Instead the task force has recommended building a modern nursing home in Keene that would consist of about 10 family-style buildings where each resident would have a bedroom and live together in a home-like atmosphere.

 

 

The new facility would cost less to run and would replace the current institutional-style facility with a family-style one, Pratt said.

The care at Maplewood is great, Pratt said, but the institutional atmosphere with its long corridors is not.

“The new one would be much more of a living environment. There would be a living room where they could watch their own television, and a dining room where they would eat,” Pratt said.

Relocating the nursing home to Keene would also place the facility in the geographic and population center of Cheshire County and within minutes of the nearest hospital, Cheshire Medical Center.

“It makes it much easier for parents, friends, and others to visit,” Pratt said of moving the county nursing home to Keene.

Ultimately the county delegates will decide whether to move forward with the proposal, Pratt said.

The report is expected to reach the delegates by July 1.

mpierce@newstote.com



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