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Beverwyck addition attracts attention

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The building is also appointed with the latest technology, from electronic entry systems to a wireless paging network, so there are no bells or lights going off. The kitchen is also modern and handsomely appointed, and serves as the center of the community space.

This is important, said social worker Caroline Curley, as seeing and smelling meals being prepared tends to stoke the appetite. Residents can even help out in the kitchen, if they're able.

"It really is the way the elderly should be cared for," she said.

Curley has 30 years of experience in the nursing industry, and said she came out of retirement to work in the new cottages because she was so excited about the innovative model. Residents have adjusted to the facility quickly, she said. Seniors moving into a skilled care facility generally take about three months to adjust, but at the Eddy Village Green they're settling in in as little as three weeks.

This personalized care, technology and space does come at a premium. Beds at one of the cottages go for $374 a day, higher than the industry nursing home standard. The tradeoff, said Miller, is an unprecedented level of comfort and security for the resident, better access for the family and overall happier seniors.

Importantly, the $6 million Eddy Village Green rounds out the spectrum of care available at the North Bethlehem campus, where residents can progress needs dictate from independent apartment living to daily assisted living to the greenhouse skilled nursing facility. Families are less likely to have to look for another, potentially distant, facility down the line.

Beverwyck, which operates under the banner of Northeast Health, had originally had a very different vision for this skilled nursing component. In the late '80s, the plan was to build a 120-bed facility on the space. That institutional style of care, with five times as many residents as the Green, was and still is the common denominator in the industry.

"That was the model then, in fact it was the minimum number of beds that would financially work," Miller said.

Perhaps the most definite drawback to the greenhouse-style model is that it is limited by design to serving only a handful of residents. Depending on the success of these two cottages, there could be more greenhouse-style housing in Beverwyck's future, though. Northeast's Cohoes facility has 192 such beds. Other potential future projects for the campus include and aquatics center. ""

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