Letter: Walbridge Wing waiting list

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Dear Editor:

The Walbridge Memorial Wing (Wing) is dedicated to serving and caring for our aging population. We provide personalized care as a long-term nursing home. We love each of our residents and strive to provide them with the best healthcare, and great quality of life.

We have been recognized for our outstanding care and we are proud that a third party patient satisfaction survey company, Pinnacle, recognized the Wing for outstanding customer service in 10 categories, including nursing care, overall resident experience, activities, cleanliness, dining and more.

Demand for care on the Wing ebbs and flows depending on community need. It breaks our hearts when our facility is at capacity and we have to place someone on a waiting list. We currently are at capacity (all 30 rooms have residents in them). We are proud to be home to up to 30 residents. At this point in time, approximately 80% are from the Meeker community, with about 20% from surrounding areas.

We have put in place a first-come, first-served waiting list. The most common ways people are put on the waiting list are:

-The individual has been ill and is considering a move to the Walbridge Wing

-The individual calls in anticipation of need for long-term care

-Family members request an individual be placed on the list.

-Primary care providers make recommendations to place someone on the waiting list.

When there is an opening, Wing staff calls whomever is at the top of the list. That individual is asked if they are ready to move to the Wing. That individual has to agree to the move, it has to be their choice. Often circumstances have changed since they were placed on the waiting list. If, for any reason, the person at the top of the list is not ready to move to the Wing, staff moves to the next person on the list.

The Walbridge Wing receives payment monies from various state and federal agencies (Veterans Administration, Medicare, private long-term insurances), therefore by regulations the Wing cannot discriminate based on race, religion, gender or geography. It is always difficult asking people to wait or look at other housing options. However, in order for us to have a fair process, that is best for residents and compliant with state and federal policies, it is sometimes necessary.

The Wing thanks everyone for their understanding. We appreciate when you look to us first for your long-term care needs.

Shar Rice, RN

Director Walbridge Memorial Wing