New nursing home in Columbus

By: Paris Holmes – Columbus, GA. – On the corner of Williams Road and Whitesville Road is Orchard View, a brand new, 200 bed rehabilitation and skilled nursing facility sprawled out on 27 acres to serve our area’s booming geriatric population.

“You’re creating an environment that people go to live in and not to die in,” says President of Hospital Authority of Columbus, GA., Frank Morast.

Unlike the typical nursing home, this facility is laid out to make it’s occupants feel like they’re at home and not an institution.

“One of the things we did on the outside of the building, we change the materials, and we changed the color variation for each section to make it feel more home like perhaps more like flats you would see in Chicago or things of that nature,” says Vice President of Hospital Authority of Columbus, GA, Britt Hayes .

In fact, blocks of rooms are divided into four different units called neighborhoods.

“And each neighborhood has it’s own dining room. living room, kitchen, activity area,”says Morast. 

The rooms are also unique. Typically, in a semi private room, one person would be on the side of the door and the other on the side of near the window divided only by a simple thin curtain.

“But here every semi private room has shared wall.  It’s a complete sheet rocked wall”, says Hayes. 

The wall allows residents to have more privacy and control over their personal environment.

Everything, from the tilting mirrors on the bathroom walls to sliding barn closet doors, is specifically designed to cater to persons in a wheelchair.

“It so much more difficult to come over in a wheel chair and try and open the door while you’re in the chair, so its much easier to have sliding barn door,” says Hayes.

Orchard View was completed last year, and currently is seeking the various licenses needed to operate within the state. The Center for Medicaid and Medicare Services (CMS) recently approved the facility to move in a few residents and operate for a few weeks on a trial basis. After an evaluation and approval Orchard View will be opened to the general public. Those interested in applying should contact the Department of Social Services.

Hayes also says Orchard View is not a independent or assisted living facility…it’s a complete nursing facility for people who can’t perform those basic daily activities like brushing your teeth or combing your hair.