By Steve Guntli
Good Samaritan Society-Stafholt will debut their newest wing at an open house event on Saturday, May 9.
The staff of the nursing facility recently completed a new wing with post-acute rehabilitation rooms, short-term facilities for people recovering from surgeries. The new rooms are renovated versions of the former full-time assisted living suites, which were shut down in 2013.
“It was a really hard decision, because the people that lived there were our people, and we didn’t want to turn anyone away,” said Laurie Hart, marketing director for Stafholt. “But we kept throwing money at these suites and we weren’t making nearly enough to keep them going. It just wasn’t financially feasible.”
The facility spent $200,000 over two years renovating the suites into a post-acute rehabilitation center. Hart said the process was more involved than they’d anticipated, but the results were worth the work.“We thought we could just slap a coat of paint on those rooms and call it a day, but we wound up needing to replace most of the wiring, widen the doors and add all kinds of amenities,” Hart said.
The post-acute rehabilitation rooms are intended for people making short stays to recover from surgery. Stays can be anywhere from four days to four months, depending on the patient’s condition, Hart said.
“We’re seeing a younger clientele, people who are still very active and are uncomfortable with the idea of an ‘old folks home,’” Hart said. “The idea of these rooms is to give people a place while they recover, but they know they’re still going to go home.”
The six rooms include kitchenettes, refrigerators, Wi-Fi access, flat screen TVs and comfortable seating for patients and their families.
“People who have suffered strokes can work with their therapist right in their room,” Hart said. “And the rooms are within easy access of the nursing station, so all of their needs will be taken care of.”
Hart said Stafholt is licensed for 57 beds, so some of the double rooms will be converted into private rooms to maintain that level. When that process is done, the facility will have 39 private rooms, the most of any nursing facility in the county.
The staff reached out to local artist Jim Williamson to provide his paintings of northwest landmarks to decorate the rooms.
“One of Jim’s paintings, ‘Safe Harbor,’ is of the former lighthouse here in Blaine,” Hart said. “And the rough Icelandic translation of Stafholt is ‘safe place’ or ‘safe harbor,’ so we thought it was just meant to be.”
The staff will host an open house to debut the new rooms on Saturday, May 9 from 1 to 3 p.m. Hart and the staff will give tours of the new rooms, go over insurance options for people considering stays and host a raffle.