Delaware Valley Skilled Nursing opens in Pike

MATAMORAS – Delaware Valley Skilled Nursing & Rehabilitation Center has opened its new facility in Westfall Township, outside Matamoras, in eastern Pike County. Their first residents arrived the week of January 11.

Michael P. Kelly, President of Senior Health Care Solutions, LLC (SHCS), said the project was five years in the making, and said it was a relief to see it open, and truly exciting. He said it is “fruitful and gratifying to see it come together and be even better than we anticipated.”

Bright, airy & high tech

Tours were given the week before. Rachel Verde, Marketing and Admissions Director, led the way, showing the bright and airy common area and physical rehabilitation room, the state-of-the-art private and semi-private rooms, dining room and other amenities.

The nursing and rehabilitation center is a 70 bed facility. They offer both short and long term residency and care, and take both private pay and insurance.

Semi-private rooms have a partition which can be closed, and a large, shared bathroom.

Verde said that they describe their pleasant accommodations as a “hotel-type room in a nursing home facility.”

The large communal lounge is accentuated with upholstered chairs and sofas, square supporting columns with the appearance of being made of field stone; and generous array of windows allowing a bright and airy atmosphere.

The dining room and activity room are off the lounge.

This lounge is at the hub of the four wings that make up the layout of the one-story facility. The hub also includes a cafe lounge and long nurses station.

The offices are in the first wing off the entrance. Also in this section is the large therapy room, which has a huge section of window glass, like that in a greenhouse. It can give the feeling of being outside, bathed in light and seeing the sky as one exercises on the machines.

There are 43 residents’ rooms along four wings. Twenty-eight of these are semi-private, with two beds separated by the partition.

The dining room, activities room and kitchen make up most of the fourth wing.

In addition to this facility, a 50-room assisted living center is right next door on the same property. This is expected to be open in March or early April.

Baby boomers

Kelly described the new nursing care facility as a model meeting the needs and expectations of the up and coming “Baby Boomer” generation.

More so than their parents before them, he said the new generation who may need these facilities, expects more privacy. So, more private rooms were created, and there is flexibility in being able to dine in their room if they wish, or in a congregate setting.

They also have Wifi and a large flat-screen TV (with DirectTV) in each residential room.

The facility is high tech, he said, with new safety features, computerization of records and ability to remotely monitor a resident’s temperature or other issues needing immediate attention.

Staff have been trained and are being given time to be acclimated to these advanced systems of care.

Staff and services

Their staff is made up of physicians, registered nurses, licensed practical nurses, certified nursing assistants, a physical therapist, occupational therapists, speech pathologists, audiologists, dieticians, recreational activities professionals, social workers, housekeepers and maintenance personnel.

Skilled services include cardiac recovery services, digestive disease services, infusion therapy, orthopedic recovery services, short and long term rehabilitation, renal disease services, restorative therapy, respite care, wound care and physical therapy.

Their dietary department provides a varied menu to suit personal tastes while meeting each person’s specific nutritional needs. Breakfast, lunch and dinner are served daily in the main dining room, and snacks are offered throughout the day and evening.

Delaware Valley Skilled Nursing & Rehabilitation Center broke ground in March 2019.

The new facility has been hailed as helping to meet a critical need in Pike County for elder car and job creation.

About 97 people are employed full-time at the nursing home facility; another approximately 50 will work full-time at the assisted living center. Additionally, about another 20 part-time jobs were created between the two facilities.

Thankful for vaccine

COVID-19 has presented a suite of challenges. Like in senior care facilities nationwide, since the pandemic struck last spring, their residents have lost the personal interaction with family, who have been restricted from normal visitation. Alternative methods are used, from Skype to seeing them through a window.

They had a few COVID-19 cases at the Pottsville and Sayre facilities.

COVID presents a challenge in showing families through their facilities, who are shopping for a senior care home for their loved one. Kelly said that families can make appointments, and abridged tours may be arranged, and information is available online.

Kelly said he is so thankful for the COVID-19 vaccines that are now being distributed. He said all of their residents have received the first shot, and the second round is beginning; staff are also being vaccinated. He said he is hopeful they can see the “light at the end of the tunnel.”

COVID also delayed the completion of the project and created cost over runs due to material prices increasing.

The project cost totaled approximately $23 million.

Many to thank

Kelly made the application to the state in April of 2015.

SHCS announced the project after it was approved by the Pennsylvania Department of Health and Human Services.

Pike County Economic Development Agency (EDA) worked to help SHCS find the site.

This was one of the last, if not the last site available with central sewer in the Matamoras area that they could use.

These two facilities are the 24th and 25th facilities built by SHCS. Kelly said the Scranton-based company started in 1997, with a facility in Peckville. He said they have been wanting to bring services to Pike County, where there is such a need, the population is growing and their proximity to the New York and New Jersey markets.

Kelly expressed his thanks for the many players that supported them, including Westfall Township, Pike county Commissioners, Pike EDA and Davis R. Chant Realtors.

The new facility is located at 111 Rivers Edge Drive, Matamoras, fronts the Heritage Pointe 55-and older community and is next to The Home Depot and just off I-84.