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New Palolo care home offers expanded services


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POSTED: Thursday, July 16, 2009

With a light Hawaiian rain blessing the ceremony, Palolo Chinese Home welcomed the public yesterday at the opening of its new, three-story Skilled Nursing/Food Service Complex.

The $10 million facility will include 46 nursing home beds, a new commercial kitchen, a wellness center that will offer rehabilitation services and a conference room open to the community. The 26,500-square-foot building marks the completion of the second phase of the home's redevelopment project. The board of directors is planning the third phase, which involves renovating Farm Hall, built in 1957.

“;We're proud of the progress that Palolo Chinese Home has made in building and expanding our campus to better serve the elders in our community,”; said Chief Executive Officer Darryl Ing. “;It's been a long road to get us here.”;

About 100 guests attended the ceremony, including Lt. Gov. James “;Duke”; Aiona, Mayor Mufi Hannemann and former City Council member Ann Kobayashi. A Chinese lion dance and firecrackers concluded the ceremony before guests were allowed to tour the complex.

“;There's nothing more important than taking care of our kupuna,”; said Aiona, who added that the home was a model of public and private partnership.

Palolo Chinese Home received a $1.6 million grant from the state and $5.7 million from the city for the facility, Ing said.

“;In these tough economic times, we have to ensure that (money) is going to an organization that will use it wisely,”; Hannemann said.

The new kitchen will allow the home to prepare 68,000 meals a year for the Meals on Wheels program, participants at the home's Adult Day Care program and the home's own meal delivery program.

“;There's more and more seniors that want to stay in their homes. One of the things we're trying to do is provide different support systems, and meal preparation is one of them,”; Ing said.

The home's total capacity is now 111 nursing home and adult residential beds. Ing said the home hopes to start admitting residents at the beginning of August.

Walter Miyura, who has lived in the old hall for nearly a year, said he doesn't plan on moving into the new complex but is impressed with the service.

“;I came from two other nursing homes and there's nothing like this. They do a good job of following through to make sure the patient is taken care of,”; Miyura said. “;Other residents here who saw (the complex) said they're very impressed. It's really comfortable and built to really take care of the customers.”;