Group looks at Haven’s future |

Group looks at Haven’s future

Supporters exploring solutions to maintain facility

— Supporters of The Haven hope recent public forums to raise awareness about Hayden’s assisted-living facility will give them fresh ideas about how best to maintain its viability now and in the future.

Meetings Monday and Tuesday night offered families of residents, donors and other interested people a chance to devise ways to keep the facility going.

Director Lucy Rickman said she plans to use the suggested short-term and long-term solutions to help The Haven.

“It’s a lot of brainstorming,” she said. “It’s nothing definite.”

A dozen or so people came together in 1992 to raise $1.5 million for a building in Hayden to house people who did not require nursing home care but whose safety and security was compromised by living alone in a house.

Within a few years of The Haven’s 1996 opening, the 20-bed facility averaged 18 residents.

That number, however, fell in recent months.

In January, only 10 residents made the facility their home.

The low capacity concerned Rickman and those who serve on the West Routt Rural Health Council Inc. Board of Trustees.

Today, three more residents live at The Haven, and some grants have recently been awarded.

Those small changes encourage Rickman, but more lasting solutions are needed to deal with vacancies.

Long-term strategies would help to even out the high and low cycles, she said.

The absence of tenants in The Haven’s apartments might reflect a nationwide problem.

As the people of the World War II generation pass away, assisted-living facilities are losing numbers, Rickman said earlier.

Some people aren’t quite convinced of their need to be in an assisted-living environment, she added.

Her position requires her to seek out families of potential residents and explain the benefits of living in a setting that still provides freedom to come and go with the security of living in a community.

Not all older residents are ready for a nursing home environment like the Doak Walker Care Center right out of senior housing.

The Haven bridges the gap between senior housing and skilled nursing care.

The gracious support of the community has allowed The Haven to continue serving assisted-living needs in the area, board member Roberta Pero said.

“We’re very grateful for that,” she said.

Few residents have replaced the many residents who have passed away in the past year, Pero said.

“It’s been very difficult when you have to maintain the whole facility, and you only have half the residents,” she said.

But supporters of The Haven intend to explore all avenues to come up with solutions that will ensure the longevity of the facility, she said.

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