$1.6M assisted living project underway at Bluff Haven complex

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A concrete patio to the east of the current Bluff Haven/Prairie Maison complex has been removed to make way for 12 additional assisted living studio apartments. The $1.6 million project is slated for completion by November or December 2015.

Crews work to compact water main at the site of the Bluff Haven studio apartment addition.

By Correne Martin

Twelve additional assisted living studio apartments are coming soon to the Bluff Haven complex in Prairie du Chien. The $1.6 million project will be constructed to the east of the existing facility and is anticipated for completion in November or December 2015.

The project is a solution to a need determined by Community Health Services Corporation (CHSC), the non-profit organizatoin which owns senior citizen facilities in Prairie du Chien and Soldiers Grove, based on an increased number of calls looking for these types of services and a growing waiting list that has about 30 names on it now.

“It’s a sign of the demographics of this area. The people are getting older, said Alesha Erdenberger, administrator of Bluff Haven Assisted Living and CHSC senior vice president of operations.

She further explained the plans, “We’re going from six assisted living beds to 20. We’ll have 18 rooms but the 20 beds will allow for couples or friends to stay together.” These will only enhance the CHSC’s continuum of care, which also includes 64 nursing home beds and 24 independent living apartments.

Erdenberger said the goal of the CHSC Board of Directors, with this project, is to fulfill the needs of the area communities. The hope is that this addition will enable more clients, who come to the Prairie Maison nursing home to receive treatment and are not quite ready to go home without services, to stay on site in the assisted living apartments, where 24-hour staff will be on hand and they can receive meals and assistance with medications, laundry, appointment reminders, transportation to appointments, etc.

“They will get priority if they’re in our nursing home,” Erdenberger noted. She also pointed out additional assisted living services such as therapy, church service, and shared activities such as picnics, art projects and more.

Through Prairie Maison, outpatient rehabilitation services are offered to the public and all clients living at Bluff Haven by providing occupational, physical, and speech therapy evaluation and treatment to residents with a wide range of rehab-related diagnoses.

The addition project went out to bid last fall, after the board decided late last summer to move forward with it, Erdenberger said. After all the bids came in pretty high, it was rebid in January and, thankfully, the numbers came in a little closer to budget. The chosen contractor is PDC Midwest Inc., of Hartland, a company that has worked with CHSC on previous projects.

In addition to the apartments, the new area will feature a state-of-the-art multi-purpose room with a cathedral ceiling. The current kitchen will also be redesigned, likely toward the end of construction in order to avoid complicating services.

For those visiting the complex in the meantime, the main entryway has been temporarily reestablished.

In order to staff the new addition, Erdenberger said, CHSC plans to hire several nursing aides, a part-time nurse, and dietary and housekeeping employees.

Anyone interested in having their name put on the waiting list for the new studio apartments is asked to contact Alesha or Karen at 326-3213. For more information, also visit chscwi.org.

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