As the steel goes up and concrete floors begin to be poured, the expansion of the Lighthouse Nursing Home will begin to help the vaunted Revere home take a step into the future of medical rehabilitation care.
Last October, work began on the expansion project and now the skeleton has been assembled and soon the exterior will be closed up. The project includes adding three floors on the west wing, which will include a large rehabilitation space on the third floor and a community room on the first floor. It also includes a new entrance and a three-season porch that will wrap around nearly all of the building. Finally, there will be a great number of exterior improvement to upgrade the look of the outside of the building.
More than anything, Administrator Michele Figucia said the expansion will help Lighthouse stay ahead of the fast-changing medical care industry.
“You just have to keep up with the changes because the industry is really stressing that people go home for recovery,” she said. “We are becoming a hospital extender. You have to keep up with that to provide the right services. This expansion will allow us to make that change, and provide those services in the best way.”
That is why the staff and administrators are so excited to have such a large rehabilitation space. As the population in Revere and across the country begins to age, more care for injuries and sickness rehabilitation will be required. Rather than the traditional long-term nursing home care services, that population will be looking for short-term stays and in-patient rehabilitation services.
“We’re moving forward and at the critical edge of changes in our industry,” she said. “Our hope is we expand our service offerings as an outpatient and home health aid service. We have a strong relationship with Mass General…We will be the hospital extenders to help patients get home quickly. We have to be prepared for that, which means we have to have things like piped-in oxygen and respiratory services. These are services available in a hospital that haven’t been used in our traditional setting…We’ll be doing what we can to decrease the re-hospitalization rate.”
Likewise, the state-of-the-art rehab center on the new third floor will serve the same purpose. As patients who have suffered injuries transition to home, they will need supervised rehabilitation. The new facility will have a simulated car door to practice getting in and out of a car. It will have several different surfaces to practice on and a plethora of equipment for strengthening.
“This new area is going to be a world all its own,” said Figucia. “They’ve had great outcomes with a small space already. It’s going to be great when they have more space to work with…Right now, every area of this building is a multi-purposed space. Every inch is utilized to its maximum, so an expansion of space is very exciting for all of us.”
Project Manager Bill Rich explained that the second floor of the expansion will house 12 new beds, decompressing the existing space by adding more single rooms. No new patient beds will be added, only new single rooms that will replace current double occupancy rooms.
“Having more private rooms is our goal and we’re making that happen,” he said.
Additionally, the façade on the outside of the building will be updated to match the new expansion.
“It should be a nice new look for the neighbors when it’s all done,” said Rich.
More than anything, though, Figucia said she wanted the community to know that the same great care will continue in the new building as it did in the old. Figucia, who came on about seven months ago, said the family atmosphere is one thing that will never change.
“It’s really a family here and unlike any other facility I’ve ever worked at,” she said. “These employees here are so good at what they do and they care about the patients truly as if they are their own parents.”
The project is expected to be completed in December.