Assisted living facility draws support

BOWLING GREEN – A survey about assisted living care demonstrated strong support for an assisted living facility in the town of Bowling Green.

Town officials used a survey form to collect information from residents and help assess the need for assisted living. The proposed facility received “overwhelming support” in 150 surveys that were completed, said Town Manager Stephen Manster.

The results of the survey were revealed at a special meeting of Town Council on Tuesday of last week. The meeting was held to disseminate information about the proposed facility and to provide a venue for people to ask questions. About 15 people attended the session.

The planning process also included gathering information about existing assisted living facilities within a 30-mile radius, noted Manster.

The Caroline Care Group, a nonprofit organization formed to develop an assisted care facility, began working two years ago under the leadership of David Upshaw of Milford. It is seeking to locate the facility in Bowling Green, and the Bowling Green Town Council recently was awarded a planning grant by a state agency to help develop the project.

It would cost about $8 million to build the facility, Upshaw told the Town Council in March. The group has received a loan guarantee from the U.S. Department of Agriculture that is contingent on the organization raising 20 percent of the principal and obtaining financing from a lending institution.

The facility would generate between 35 and 50 job with the prospect of additional positions as it grows.

Upshaw presented information about the proposed facility at last week’s meeting. Bowling Green was chosen as the potential site because of its central location in the county, its small town atmosphere, and its amenities, he indicated.

A free site was offered in Ladysmith, but organizers felt the community was “too congested,” said Upshaw, and did not measure up to Bowling Green.

A shuttle service is envisioned for the assisted living residents in order to provide transportation for medical appointments and shopping.

“We want to keep the cost as affordable as possible,” said Sam Shield of Farmville, a consultant to the organizers. Fees for residents would depend on the level of care they require, he said.

“It will be an ‘a la carte’ kind of thing to keep the cost down,” explained Shield. “The less (services) you need, the lower the cost.”

Organizers do not plan to accept Medicare or Medicaid.

The facility will not provide nursing care, services that are provided by a nursing home. “We already have one of the best nursing homes in the state right down the road,” said Upshaw, referring to Bowling Green Health and Rehabilitation Center.

He has discussed with center officials the feasibility of assisted living residents transitioning into the nursing home if needed and vice-versa, Upshaw indicated.

Ten sites in Bowling Green have been considered, said Upshaw, and organizers are in negotiations with the owner of a 40-acre site fronting East Broaddus Avenue.

As envisioned, the facility would house 40 residents in assisted care, 26 Alzheimer’s patients, and have six cottages for independent living. The building project would take about a year.

The assisted living facility would be locally owned and operated, noted Upshaw, serving Caroline residents as well as others.

The survey and public meeting were part of the initial $3,000 portion of a $30,000 planning grant awarded to the town by the state Department of Housing and Community Development to assess the need for an assisted living facility in Caroline County. The Town Council contracted with the George Washington Regional Planning Commission to perform some of the initial planning tasks.

Posted on Friday, August 3, 2012 at 12:23 pm