HANSON, Ky. (4/12/13) – On Wednesday April 10, 2013, a Dedication Ceremony at the Ballard Western Kentucky Veterans Center was held at 1:00pm with guest speakers, including Governor Beshear as the keynote speaker.
The Executive Director of OKVC, Glinda Hill, stated, “We are so proud of our community centers and our mission for our state veteran homes is to provide an environment which includes encouragement of independence, and preserves the dignity and rights of each veteran.”
The construction of the three community living centers expands the facilities mission by providing a home environment in which the veterans are able to prosper. The three community centers provide each veteran with a private room, private restroom, living room, large family size kitchen and a dining room. The meals are prepared in the kitchens in each home that fully allows the veterans to participate in meal planning and observe the staff as they prepare the meals.
“This environment provides the opportunity for the staff to constantly communicate with the veterans and develop very close friendships. During the construction, we were always questioning ourselves if we would have this in our own homes and if we did not have it in our personal homes, then we really didn’t want it in our three community living centers because it’s truly the veterans home,” Hill also stated.
Not only was the living environment changed for the veterans but the concept of moving towards person-centered care, in which veterans are able to make decisions in different aspects of their daily care. In return, this encourages one to be more independent and maintains their dignity, respect and rights. Hill also expressed how, “The people who work here just don’t work. We have a mission to serve our veterans and they take this service seriously and perform it with heartfelt dedication and commitment.”
Being a native to Hopkins County, and serving in the United States Army, Governor Beshear revealed how important it is for us to take care of our veterans and how these facilities provide the care they need and rightfully deserve. “It’s great to be here to symbolically cut the ribbon; some of the residents of these facilities are old old friends of mine and of my family. I’m honored to be here because I’m a veteran too, but my service doesn’t hold the candle to the men and women who have sacrificed so much to protect our freedom and comforts. These freedom and comforts we so often take for granted and as the veterans grow older, it is our responsibility to give back to them by providing the care they need. “
Over the last few years Kentucky has really stepped up in this area with providing the care for our veterans. These 36 new beds will help alleviate the waiting list of veterans who need a place in a care facility. Governor Beshear also shared that there will be 120 bed facility, very similar to the one in Hanson, built in Radcliffe, Kentucky. This facility will also help with the cut down on waiting lists.
This community living concept was mandated under the federal VA new model back in 2009 and this expansion not only represents the first implementation of the model but it is also one of the first in the entire country.
Governor Beshear expressed, “Whereas the layout of the existing 120 beds, one thing that won’t change will be the quality of care and the compassionate way it is delivered.”
Photos Provided by Amber Mena
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