Hospital looking to  improve Twin Oaks  with SPLOST $$$$

An architect hired by Bacon County Health System explains to the county commissioners the nursing home renovations that have already been done and what the hospital would still like to see done with the help of a penny sales tax.

Renovations in recent years have greatly improved the quality of life for residents at Twin Oaks nursing home and the hospital wants to see that work completed.

At last week’s county work session, Bacon County hospital’s Sherry King and Kyle Lott came before the commissioners to ask for $2 million to be included in November’s Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax (SPLOST) referendum. If approved by the voters, the funds would be used to complete the renovations for the nursing home.

“We started the nursing home project four years ago,” King said, “and we want to finish what we started.”

“We are proud of what we have already done toward giving our residents a comfortable home-like atmosphere. It’s a beautiful place and we want to finish it.”

An architect on the project presented plans showing the scope of the new renovation project. While the total number of beds (88) will not change, the number of private rooms will increase.

“How Twin Oaks is being used has changed in recent years,” King explained. “More people want larger, private rooms.”

“In addition, the largest number of admissions to the nursing home in recent years has been for rehabilitation. People come in, do therapy, and go home. They are not coming here to die anymore.”

Lott agreed.

“We now have a 3-1 discharge rate over the death rate at Twin Oaks,” he said. “That’s very different than it was 10 or 15 years ago.”

Because of that change, the renovation plans call for a “large” rehabilitation/therapy area to be constructed near the nursing home’s current entrance. Twin Oaks residents will be able to utilize the facility, but so will “outside” patients.

“It has been designed so you don’t have to go through the nursing home to access the therapy area.”

In addition to the therapy area, the existing, unmodernized “A wing” of the nursing home will be demolished, all existing rooms that have not yet been updated will be.

The hospital administration and architects expect the total cost of the project to be $2.79 million. Furnishing and equipment will run at least an additional $100,000.

Commissioner Larry Smith was concerned all the renovations will “price local residents out” of Twin Oaks. Lott noted pricing for the facility is dictated by the state and said he does not expect any substantial changes in rates because of the renovations.

“It’s a great facility now and it will be an even better facility after we’re done,” Lott said.

Commission Chairman Andy Hutto thanked the hospital staff for their presentation and assure them the nursing home’s needs would be considered.

“We’re just fixin’’ to begin our SPLOST conversations,” he said. “This will give us something to discuss.”