September 26, 2014

Expansion helps Providence Self-Sufficiency Ministries mark 20 years

Phyllis Garmon, left, and Brenda Masden, members of the Providence Self-Sufficiency Ministries capital campaign committee, show the designs for two planned additions to the 28-acre Georgetown campus on Sept. 19. An eight-bed unit will be a memory care home, and a 10-bed “villa” or group home will provide skilled care. (Photo by Patricia Happel Cornwell)

Phyllis Garmon, left, and Brenda Masden, members of the Providence Self-Sufficiency Ministries capital campaign committee, show the designs for two planned additions to the 28-acre Georgetown campus on Sept. 19. An eight-bed unit will be a memory care home, and a 10-bed “villa” or group home will provide skilled care. (Photo by Patricia Happel Cornwell)

By Patricia Happel Cornwell (Special to The Criterion)

“These are new friends and family in so many ways, And I hope I can stay here the rest of my days."
—Excerpt from a poem by Bob Staley, a Providence Self-Sufficiency Ministries’ resident

GEORGETOWN—For some, it’s a home for Mom or Dad. For others, it’s a place to put a family back together. For many, it’s the answer to a prayer.

On Sept. 19, Providence Self-Sufficiency Ministries (PSSM) in Georgetown marked 20 years of service to south central Indiana with a reception to launch the public phase of a $2 million expansion campaign.

The 28-acre campus in Floyd County presently has one assisted living home or “villa,” and five skilled care villas, collectively known as Guerin Woods, with health services including hospice care. It also has a senior center, independent living apartments for seniors with limited incomes, licensed group homes for foster children and a family reunification program.

The “Home Is Where the Heart Is” capital campaign will fund construction of two more villas, a 10-bed unit for the frail elderly and an eight-bed unit for those with memory loss. Ground has already been broken, and it is hoped that construction will begin in October.

A “silent phase” of the fundraising effort raised nearly $1.6 million. The reception was the kickoff for a public phase to raise the remaining capital for the project.

“The strategy for the public phase of the drive is to let people make pledges over four years,” said campaign chairman Gary Libs. “They don’t have to make a cash gift right now. They can spread it out until 2017.”

Campaign committee member Brenda Masden noted that her aunt has been a resident of the facility for four years.

“That’s how I got involved in the capital campaign,” she said. “The first thing we want to build is a memory unit.”

All villas have private bedrooms and baths, communal living rooms and dining rooms, patios and gardens. The new memory loss villa will also feature a one-to-two staff-to-elder ratio, stations reminding residents of past interests, and small four-person dining tables to alleviate the confusion of large numbers of people. Gliders and rockers will address individuals’ need for constant motion.

Residents are interested in the project, too. Phyllis Garmon is a campaign committee member whose mother is a resident. One day while visiting her mother, she asked an elder what he was watching from the patio.

“He was watching the groundbreaking equipment,” she recalled, “and he joked that he needed a ‘high chair’ so he could see over the fence.”

PSSM has followed what the administration calls a “rolling horizon” as community needs change. There are now 60 eligible elders on a waiting list to move into the 10-bed villas. In addition, there are 10 current residents who need memory care and 10 others on a waiting list.

Guerin Woods was the first elder-care entity in the state to introduce the small-house model for long-term care. Since its inauguration in 2008, it has received a five-star rating from the Centers for Medicaid and Medicare and a ranking in the 99th percentile among Indiana’s 460 nursing homes.

PSSM is a sponsored ministry of the Sisters of Providence of Saint Mary-of-the-Woods near Terre Haute. Since 2003, PSSM has served more than 45,000 individuals of all ages.

Those interested in pledging support for the capital campaign may contact Providence Sister Barbara Ann Zeller, PSSM director, at 812-951-1878. More information about facilities and services at the Georgetown campus is available at www.guerininc.org.
 

(Patricia Happel Cornwell is a member of St. Joseph Parish in Corydon.)

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