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Turns out there is a place like home

NORTH LIBERTY– Leaving the place one calls home can be a difficult, even traumatic, transition at any age. For the elderly, making different living arrangements to accommodate changing physical and cognitive needs can also be bewildering.
Kelly Quigley, owner of Country View senior living alternative, understands those changing needs, and can help make the transition smoother and more comfortable.
Quigley opened Country View, located on the west side of North Liberty, at 1515 Penn St., in 2005.
“We do offer a truly home-like environment,” Quigley said. With home cooked meals and snacks served daily, laundry, personal care and cleaning services, and on-site staff accessible to residents and their families 24 hours every day, the privately-owned home with 14 private bedrooms, sprawling shaded deck and relaxed common living areas is designed to be a home-away-from-home for seniors. In addition, residents are able to contract with on-site caregivers who are able to provide 24-hour nursing care if and when the need arises. At Country View, those services are available at rates greatly reduced from typical nursing home or assisted living care costs.
Quigley works with business partner Heidi Staley and other qualified staff to provide Country View’s distinct blend of services. Both Quigley and Staley are registered nurses.
“There is the option for the same type of care, but for much less,” Quigley said.
Quigley’s nursing background, as well as specific training, plus years of experience in working in long-term care, has afforded her opportunities to also care for patients with dementia. At any age, in any stage, each person is unique in his or her needs and personality.
“I think that, by word of mouth, we have gained the reputation as giving
great care to folks with dementia,” Quigley said. “We have clients who are alert and oriented to those who are mildly to severely cognitively impaired. We care for people with all sorts of diagnoses, and we just treat people like individuals. We understand and work within their world.”
That level of understand has helped shape Country View’s environment, which can be the perfect respite for patients with dementia and Alzheimer’s Disease.
“We don’t look like an institution,” said Quigley, and neither does it operate like one. “Often, patients find there is too much stimulation in a nursing home setting. Here, we have a calm, quiet setting. There are no bright hallway lights coming on in the middle of the night. There is not a lot of commotion.”
For example, one Country View client had her days and nights mixed up, Quigley said, often staying up at night and sleeping late in the morning.
“We let her sleep when she was tired,” Quigley said, “and made her breakfast when she woke up. There is no point in forcing someone to follow other people’s schedules.”
It’s also hard to ask people with dementia to participate in group activities, another staple of nursing home living. Instead, Country View has enough staff to offer a lot of one-on-one care.
“We take the time to do their hair, paint their nails, play board games, draw and paint and assist them with their hobbies,” Quigley said. “Our resident-to-staff ratio is phenomenal, so we have time that they wouldn’t have in a nursing home.”
Such individualized care, along with a low staff turnover rate, also allows for strong bonds to form between staff, residents and families. Staff members get to know clients well enough to be able to recognize changes in behavior or mood.
“If we see those things, we can contact family members or physicians right away,” said Quigley. “Our relationships with our families are so open, we can usually talk through just about anything.”
One family member was on hand to offer a first-hand testimonial about that. Diane’s husband, Dennis, has been a Country View resident since last November.
Also a nurse who has had experience caring for an elderly parent, Diane said an assisted living community was perfect for her mother, where there were many other active residents to interact with. However, she said, Country View is much more suited to Dennis’s needs.
“I like that this is a family atmosphere,” said Diane. “It’s perfect for him because it’s small, and because of the love that I see all of the staff having for all the residents.”
As she talked, Diane wiped a few involuntary tears.
“And for me. We’ve cried together a lot, haven’t we?” she said to Quigley.
Quigley said many other family members have thanked Country View and its staff for taking extra steps, such as visiting residents in the hospital or checking on family members at their own homes.
“Family members often say we go above and beyond,” Quigley said. “It’s hard to think of that as different, because we just do it as a matter of course. We have been so fortunate to have caregivers who really care about the people here.”
Country View is a private pay facility that works with insurance companies for payment. Currently, there are six openings.
For more information, visit Country View’s website at countryviewnl.com. Contact Quigley by calling 665-9039.
It could be the discovery of a new place to call home.
“I am very sensitive to how the energy of a place feels,” added Diane, as she, a daughter and grandson helped Dennis celebrate his birthday at Country View before a family outing. “This is a place of love.”