Countryside Estates in Cherokee was originally established as Hiserote Manor in 1973. Over thirty years later the facility has undergone ownership changes and had some physical changes. It is currently owned by American Healthcare Management Services, a company based in Huxley. It is located at 921 Riverview Drive overlooking the Little Sioux River.
It is both a nursing facility and more recently an assisted living facility. They are a skilled facility licensed for 48 long term care beds and 14 assisted living units.
The staff of forty employees claim some long term experienced staff, with some having been at the facility nearly twenty years. They are each dedicated to their work and are members of this community. Many times they know the residents when they come to the facility.
Garry Parry, the facility's administrator, is very proud of his staff and the progress that has been made with the facility. Earlier this year they were awarded the special honor of Most Improved Operations from their corporate headquarters. The honor is based on the total facility doing better on state surveys.
Parry says part of the reason they did so well with state surveys are the programs in place to keep track of what's going right and what needs improvement. To help with that process there is a Care Review Committee in place who visits with residents to keep up on the quality of care they are receiving. Then on a quarterly basis there are quality assessment meetings with their medical director, pharmacy consultant, and department heads to go over things and take action on things that need attention.
Parry says safety is their biggest issue, as it is in all facilities. He says their staff is very good at maintaining and improving safety. It is a matter of paying constant attention to details.
The role of nursing homes has changed over the years. They no longer have the stigma of being "the last stop". Often they are a safe and caring place where people can recover from surgeries and other health problems before they return home. Glenda Schleef, Director of Nursing says the CNA's at Countryside Estates provide awesome care. It is personalized with individual attention given to each resident.
Like many nursing homes, Countryside Estates offers many activities and special events for their residents. They always have special holiday events where they encourage family members to attend. Every year they host an annual family picnic and often elementary students and other youth organizations visit. They also have local musicians come in to sing and play for the residents and the local Legion always does a Memorial Day Presentation.
To further their involvement with the community Countryside Estates recently became members of the Cherokee Chamber of Commerce. Parry adds that they also maintain good communication and relationships with the other area nursing homes in addition to the physicians.
One of the newest additions to the facility is the three year old assisted living section. It is a separate unit attached to the entire facility with its own separate secure entrance. The beautifully decorated assisted living was formerly another part of the nursing facility. It has been converted to add more options for those who need different levels of care.
It is plush, private and secure. The residents can come and go as they please and the staff is there if they need it. Assisted living provides residents with a sense of autonomy because they make their own choices and generally do what they can for themselves.
They currently have a couple of openings in the assisted living facility. Residents there can count on a 24 hour, seven day a week personal attendant being available to them. They also enjoy many of the same activities as the nursing residents.
Residents in the assisted living portion have their own dining room; free laundry facilities, personal secure mail boxes, and the units are much roomier than most others. Around the outside of each door are built in shelves for residents to decorate as they please to make it feel like home.
Each unit has a separate bedroom and living area, handicap accessible bathroom and kitchen area. For safety purposes each room in the units has an alarm button in case a resident needs assistance and a "body alarm" in the form of button on a necklace. They even have their own salon so residents can get their favorite beautician any time they want. Residents can have the option of getting cable and telephone.
As a person enters the assisted living unit from the west side of the building they are greeted with a décor that easily says "I'm home". There is a comfortable sitting room and a community television room that looks like something out of a decorating magazine.
Parry says they are very proud of their assisted living facility and are looking forward to bringing the décor throughout the nursing facility, which is going to be their next project.