The Kansas Masonic Home has finished a $22 million renovation and construction project on its senior living campus at 402 S. Martinson.
The project, near Maple and Seneca, included renovation of existing space and construction of a skilled-nursing rehabilitation unit, which provides short-term care for patients who need heightened medical attention before returning to their home or back to assisted living.
Mike Miller, chief operating officer for the Kansas Masonic Home, said officials started planning renovations seven years ago and originally anticipated a $14 million project, but decided to add the skilled-nursing rehabilitation building, which tacked on an extra $8 million. He said construction and renovations began in 2011 and were completed earlier this summer.
The renovations reflect a theme of home-style living. The buildings are divided into units designed to look like individual houses, and 20 to 23 residents live in each house.
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The entrances to each unit look like house fronts with distinct themes: craftsman style, farmhouse and Victorian, to name a few. The kitchens, dining rooms and living areas all carry the style theme throughout and resemble one large house rather than an institutionalized nursing home.
Ashley Ross, marketing director for the Kansas Masonic Home, said the goal of the project was “to make it look, feel and smell like a true home. That’s why we made these changes — to better care for residents.”
Miller said the Kansas Masonic Home is following a national nursing home trend of moving away from the sterile feel of traditional senior living centers.
“Our residents deserve a better life than that,” he said.
He also said the home also decentralized staffing, so staff members can stay in one unit.
“It really builds a family atmosphere when you have the same staff caring for the residents,” he said.
He said the Kansas Masonic Home decreased its overall number of rooms during the project in order to increase the number of private rooms. Now the home has a resident capacity of 244; it currently has 201 residents.
Miller said in the next few years, he wants to start planning for construction of independent living apartments or duplexes on the campus. He said the Kansas Masonic Home still has 4 to 5 free acres on its 15-acre lot.
“It will be on the radar here pretty quickly in the next few years because it is a need and one we want to meet in the community,” Miller said.