By Emily Banks Wooten
Heidi Barnes, residence manager of Country Place Senior Living of Livingston located at 1860 N. Washington Ave., presented a program on the new assisted living facility to the Rotary Club of Livingston recently.
Barnes informed the Rotarians that the state was there June 6-8 and that the new 24-bed facility should receive its license by the end of the month.
“I’m way, way ready to have my residents come in,” she said, adding that 17 are already signed up.
Explaining the difference between assisted living and skilled facility, Barnes said skilled facility residents have 24-hour care, IVs, feeding tubes and would care, whereas assisted living provides 24-hour care and meds for residents, but that every person has their own apartment, or suite, with bath, and a kitchenette with microwave and fridge.
“When our residents move in, this is their home. They can come and go as they please. Some still drive. The benefit to assisted living is that we give our residents all the independence that they want and need. This is a new experience for some,” Barnes said.
“Country Place is very homey, it’s inviting. One of the most important things is socialization. Our facility offers five or six activities per day.Country Place has a full-time activity director. We can take them to Walmart shopping and to doctor’s appointments locally. We have a lot of fun. We’re always looking for volunteers. We have a grand piano. We play bingo. It’s all about finding ways to connect with them,” she said.
“All of our Country Places are identical. We only go to rural communities,” Barnes said, adding that there are eight in Alabama and that Livingston is the fifth in Texas.
“There are government benefits for veterans. If you were active in World War II, Korea, Vietnam or the Persian Gulf you get benefits or if your spouse was in any of those, you get benefits. Married veterans get money too,” Barnes said. “This will probably be their last home. We are allowed to have them age in place. It gives a lot of comfort to the adult children in the family.
“Typically, our rooms range from $3,155 to $4,195. It costs about half the price of a skilled facility. We’re private-paid. We do take long-termhealth care insurance. I can’t push the VA benefits enough,” Barnes said, adding that as of now, they don’t take Medicaid.
“Residents may bring their own furniture and hang things on the walls, wall treatments, window treatments. And we are pet-friendly,” she said.
Barnes said the company owns additional land adjacent to the facility and that moving forward, they’re going to open a memory care facility. “They think of everything. If their dementia gets too bad, they can just move next door,” she said.
Barnes said Country Place also offers respite care for a week at a time in the event a caregiver is going on vacation or is burned out and just needs a break.
“I have a very supportive team,” she said.