Heddington Oaks to offer better care to area seniors

By Alyssa Donovan

July 12, 2013 Updated Jul 12, 2013 at 7:03 PM CDT

WEST PEORIA, Ill.-- Elderly men and women in the Peoria area will soon have a new option for a skilled care home.

Heddington Oaks, a new home for elderly men and women made it's debut on Friday.

County board and community members gathered for the ribbon cutting ceremony, commemorating the completion of a facility nearly six and a half years in the making.

Peoria County Board member Jimmy Dillon said, "A long time ago Peoria County decided it was a great thing to take care of senior citizens. For west Peoria it's a big economic boom."

The home has 214 beds including 42 private rooms and accommodations for up to 80 Alzheimer’s patients.

While the current facility, Belwood, can hold up to 300 residents, Administrator Matt Nieukirk says Heddington Oaks is much more intimate.

Nieurkirk said, "The more personalized you can do the better you are going to be as far as being a number 1 or number 2 option coming out of a nursing home."

Nieukirk says more patients will be able to receive care at the new building.

Nieurkirk said, "Our therapy is probably about 4 times the size of what Belwood is so we're going to be able to provide a lot more amenities there. Outpatient therapy is another thing that hopefully we'll be able to offer in the near future along with being able to offer dialysis to our residents in the near future."

Many residents who currently live at Belwood are moving to the new facility like Miriam Prindiville.

Prindiville said, "It's going to be wonderful I'm real excited and I hope it comes soon."

Residents are expecting to move in mid August.

While Prindiville is excited about her new home, saying "Our rooms look good and the bathroom is much nicer."

She's more excited about what's around it. She said, "The beauty shop and the ice cream parlor are just down the road I hear."

There is currently a wait list of about 50 people to move into Heddington Oaks.

Nieukirk says he expects the home to be at nearly full capacity within the first month.

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