Regency Health Care & Rehab Center in Huntsville had three goals in mind when designing its new building. The first was to serve more people in the Huntsville area and offer top-of-the-line rehabilitation services. The second was to encourage family members to visit their loved ones more often. And the third was to provide employees with the tools and amenities to do their jobs to the best of their ability.

Living room at Regency Health Care & Rehab Center in Huntsville.

Living room at Regency Health Care & Rehab Center in Huntsville.

Nestled on the campus of a continuing care retirement community, Regency Health Care & Rehab Center has room to roam. A walking tour of the 70,000 square foot building will take you by a sun room, living room, library, life enrichment rooms, two courtyards and a screened porch. All are designed to encourage resident and family interaction.

“We encourage the family members to be a part of their resident’s life,” Administrator Linda Robertson said. “We’re trying to give families and residents places they can visit, relax and enjoy whether they live with us or are here to receive rehab services. This gives them a lot of options just like they might have had at home. The family members brighten the resident’s day and we want to be sure that we have them involved at all times.”

Family members and volunteers were a big help to Regency’s staff when all 60 of the current residents were moved into the new building on June 1.

“When we moved everyone in, all of the families helped us line everyone up and bring them over,” Robertson explained. “We all came over to marching music, a ribbon cutting and Huntsville City Council President Will Culver greeted us. The families were involved in helping us move their loved one’s personal belongings, and they set up the new rooms prior to their family member moving in. It would have been a very difficult task for only the staff to do. The staff did a lot of work, but the families were very involved and very helpful.”

Resident LaVerne Harmon waves to the camera during move-in day at Regency Health Care & Rehab Center in Huntsville.

Resident LaVerne Harmon waves to the camera during move-in day at Regency Health Care & Rehab Center in Huntsville.

The new building is licensed for 90 skilled nursing care beds – 30 more than the previous location. It features 82 private rooms and four semi-private rooms. Forty-four of the beds are dedicated to short-term rehabilitation patients, and 46 beds serve long-term care residents.

The center’s rehabilitation gym is outfitted for speech, physical and occupational therapy. The gym includes a hydro-track treadmill, balance system and several other pieces of state of the art equipment.

“We recognized a need for rehabilitation services in our community,” Robertson said. “We’re prepared to help patients rehab, get well and return to their home or their prior level of care setting. Our goal is to try to get them back to where they were before they needed rehab.”

The needs of Regency’s current 100 staff members were also taken into consideration. Much of the equipment features ergonomic design, a new floor cleaning system makes work easier for the housekeeping staff, a better system for laundry and full electric beds for easier care on the floor. There is a large breakroom with private locker rooms and bathrooms for all employees.

“Many of our staff members have worked in this business for a long time and have never had the opportunity to work in a new building with all new equipment,” Robertson said. “We did a lot of things that are staff focused, and I’m excited for them to have this opportunity.”

While it’s a lot of work to plan, construct and get a new building up and running, Robertson believes Regency and the people they serve will see tremendous benefits.

“With our new building and the training and other items we’re providing for our staff, we hope we’ll be a facility of choice for residents and a facility of choice for staff who want to work in the rehab and long-term care profession,” Robertson said.