Midway retirement community, nursing home approaches funding goal

gkocher1@herald-leader.comSeptember 27, 2012 

The effort to build a new nursing home and retirement community in Midway has received some major funding boosts, organizers said Thursday.

The Mary K. Oxley Foundation has awarded a $300,000 grant, and the Woodford Health Foundation and Midway Presbyterian Church have pitched in with commitments of $50,000 each.

In addition, the U.S. Department of Agriculture has conditionally approved a low-interest, $11.5 million loan for the project.

The new funding "moves us closer to developing the next generation of elder care — a truly person-centered care community — in Midway," said Keith Knapp, president and chief executive officer of Christian Care Communities. That Louisville-based organization is Kentucky's largest faith-based provider of senior housing and long-term care services.

So far, more than $1.5 million has been raised from more than 500 individuals, foundations and corporations in support of the nursing home and retirement community, to be called The Homeplace at Midway.

John Greely, chairman of the local capital campaign's leadership council, said the effort's "magic number" for starting construction is down to $400,000. That needs to be committed by the end of the year to lock in the favorable rate included in the USDA's conditional approval for a loan, Knapp said.

The goal to raise that money by the end of the year is "pretty realistic," Knapp said in an interview.

"We're really starting to get the momentum now with people who have maybe held back, who were saying 'You know, I've been hearing about this thing for a decade. Are you really going to do it?' The strength of the USDA commitment has helped us a lot with some of the people who have been holding back."

The Homeplace will be located on 31 acres purchased in 2010. Organizers hope to break ground next year, Knapp said.

The Homeplace will include two skilled nursing cottages for 23 residents in need of short-term rehabilitation or long-term care; a 12-bed "memory/personal care" cottage for individuals with Alzheimer's or dementia; and a 12-bed assisted-living cottage for residents who need periodic assistance with daily living activities.

Future plans include the addition of an adult day care program and independent living duplexes to complement the initial residential cottages.

The Homeplace will have a "Green House" design. Pioneered at a United Methodist retirement community in Tupelo, Miss., Green House or small house design breaks away from the more institutional nursing home design with buildings that are smaller — holding 10 to 12 people each — and more residential in appearance, feel and comfort.

Christian Care Communities broke ground in January on Ashgrove Woods, a $30 million development near Brannon Crossing in Jessamine County that will include an assisted living center for seniors, as well as more than 70 homes designed for aging Baby Boomers who want to be close to their parents who require care.

Greg Kocher: (859) 231-3305. Twitter: @HLpublicsafety

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