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Beverwyck refocuses nursing home expansion

A Slingerlands nursing care provider is scrapping an approved expansion in favor of a design that would bring new industry developments into play.

The Eddy Village at Beverwyck will seek the approval of the Town of Bethlehem to build two 12-bed buildings in the greenhouse style of nursing home care. Developed over the past six years and spreading in popularity nationwide, greenhouse design focuses on creating a community atmosphere for small groups of seniors who require skilled nursing care.

"I think over the last 30 years nursing home operators have tried their best to make nursing home environments what they'd call homelikebut this actually goes beyond that. It actually houses people in a setting that is more like a home," said Beverwyck Executive Director Douglas Miller.

The proposal features private rooms with private baths and a large kitchen/dining room where aides prepare all meals for residents, who eat together. Residents who have lived in these environments tend to have significantly increased happiness and health, said Miller. Northeast Health, which owns Beverwyck, is replacing its traditional nursing home in Cohoes with a series of greenhouse-style homes.

"Although this sounds so simple, it's somewhat revolutionary for the nursing home industry," Miller said.

Each building would total 10,000 square feet, a decrease from the floor space approved in the original Planned Development District.

In 2006, the town approved plans to build a 30,000-square-foot facility containing 18 Alzheimer's care beds and 20 skilled nursing care beds. Beverwyck held off on construction to industry conditions, said Miller, and during that time there were also advancements in the field of nursing home care.

Though it seems like decreasing the number of beds would be a more costly endeavor, by consolidating services like food preparation under one roof instead of running it out of a large cafeteria, there are cost offsets, said Miller.

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