Range of living options available for the elderly

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There are two options for elderly care in the Yampa Valley: skilled nursing care and assisted living.

The Doak Walker Care Center is the only full-time, skilled nursing facility in Routt County, with 20 nurses on duty 24 hours per day. Also, with the recent closure of Valley View Care Center in Craig, the Doak Walker Care Center is the only skilled nursing facility in the region. The Doak Walker Care Center is on the campus of Yampa Valley Medical Center and provides care and rehabilitation for elderly and convalescing adults.

Long-term care facilities The Doak Walker Care Center Yampa Valley Medical Center 1024 Central Park Dr Steamboat Springs, CO 80487 970-879-1322 The Haven Assisted Living Center 300 South Shelton Lane Hayden, CO 81639 970-276-4484 or director's office 970-276-1414 Fax: 970-276-4197

Director Carol Schaffer said elderly people who have health problems or need help with basic tasks like taking medication or bathing could be right for the Doak Walker Care Center.

The 59-bed Doak Walker facility was completed in 2000, replacing the 49-bed Extended Care Center.

The Doak Walker Care Center is a modern facility that includes dining rooms, sitting areas, sunrooms, patios, landscaped courtyards, private family meeting areas and a larger activity room, where residents enjoy volleyball, card games, church services, bingo and other activities.

The facility also has a physical therapy room where residents and adults recovering from surgery can work out on a number of exercise machines with therapists who also work in the sports medicine department.

"It is important for us to be part of the hospital to take advantage of all the hospital has to offer," Schaffer said. "Instead of an ambulance, we're right there."

Residents of the Doak Walker Care Center also benefit from an intergenerational program with the children from GrandKids Child Care Center.

The children at the center often interact with the residents of Doak Walker in several activities like ice cream socials, music listening, story readings and craft making. Also, fifth graders from Strawberry Park Elementary visit Doak Walker once a week during the school year.

"I think what it does for the kids is it gives them an opportunity to interact with the elderly and accept those who have disabilities," Schaffer said. "It's a really neat program and our residents love it."

A shared room at the Doak Walker Care Center costs $4,600 per month, and a private room costs $5,100 per month.

Schafer said choosing the type of elderly care depends on the level of ability to deal with the tasks of everyday life.

Some seniors may not need constant assistance, but may have trouble cooking or going to the store. If that is the case, assisted living may be the right option.

The Haven in Hayden is the only assisted living facility in Routt County. Assisted living has no skilled nursing staff or doctors, said Haven Director Lucy Rickman. The Haven does not tend to medical problems, toileting, lifting, restraining, or anything invasive to the body.

The mission statement of the Haven is to "provide senior assisted living for seniors over 55 years of age who do not require skilled nursing care, but who no longer can, or want, to live alone."

Residents of the Haven live almost completely independently, but receive three meals per day, participate in a variety of group activities and have their rooms suited to their own desires with individual room temperature control.

A private room at the Haven costs $2,160 per month, and a shared room costs $1,850 per month.

For seniors who can live completely independently, several senior apartment complexes are available in Routt County, including Steamboat Springs, Oak Creek and Hayden.

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