The Broadway brings elders to center stage

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If every person had the choice, they’d live to be 100, spending their remaining years at home. For some, that’s not an option – illness or injury means around- the-clock-care.

The Broadway Elder Living and Rehabilitation center is a 126-bed, elder living facility providing a home for those seeking an alternative lifestyle for socialization and medical needs. The center also serves as a rehabilitation facility offering nursing, physical, occupational and speech therapies.

“We go from someone who is basically independent that needs a little bit of assistance with medical needs, to extreme care residents that may have had a stroke or may be bed bound and require nursing services 24 hours a day,” Administrator Zeb Landers said.

When the Birmingham, Ala. native arrived in south Lafourche in June 2010, he signed on with the aging South Lafourche Nursing Center in Cut Off.

By September, the facility was donated to the parish and its residents moved to their new home, The Broadway in Lockport.

The facility is regulated by Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services and is required by the state Department of Health and Hospitals to maintain a licensed facility.

“They inspect every aspect of the facility – what we provide. We’re required to have an annual inspection or survey. They come in and do an evaluation of the care that we’re providing for each resident,” Landers explained.

The Broadway’s corporate office (Elder Outreach of Baton Rouge) developed the name and motto ‘Where all of your life is a Stage.’

“Because you’re at this stage in your life, and you’re still living and doing the same things you’ve done your whole life,” Landers said.

A tour of The Broadway begins in one of several large common areas where residents, their families and guests gather to visit. Centrally located is the nurse’s station followed by the dining room, activities center and an outside covered patio for cookouts and crawfish boils.

Suites, private and semi-private rooms are equipped with a single bed, bedside table, an armoire for clothing and personal items, and a bathroom.

“Residents can have mini-fridges as well. We encourage them to bring in chairs from home, hang pictures on the wall and bring in personal items,” Landers said.

Full-time charge nurses, who are also LPNs (Licensed Practical Nurses), are on site 24 hours a day monitoring each resident’s medical needs and Certified Nursing Assistants provide daily care including assistance with personal grooming, showers, shaving, dental care and meals.

“Medical Director Dr. Camille Pitre comes in every Wednesday and basically oversees our facility operations and consults with us on medical decisions that we make,” Landers said.

Full time physical, occupational and speech therapists provide either group or individual training in the center’s gym. If a resident is unable to go to the gym, therapy is provided in their room.

A full-time social worker, activity director and activity assistant are just a few more of the 125 employees dedicated to the residents’ care.

“We’re catering to what our residents’ desires are, like taking trips to the casinos, doing fishing trips or doing things they would like to do. The residents aren’t house bound. We try to do things as often as we can to make sure that this is just a place for them to live and to stay while we’re overseeing their medical needs,” Landers said.

The Broadway has several levels of admission into the facility. Residents can pay for their stay themselves, or use Medicare or Medicaid if they qualify. There is no particular age or time frame and no contracts to sign.

Landers explained that the industry is beginning to see a trend of people having knee, hip, elbow or shoulder surgeries and staying in nursing/rehabilitation centers before returning home. If a resident needs to stay for a couple of weeks while recovering from surgery, The Broadway can accommodate them.

“You may have people that come here for just a week of respite care. The family is going out on vacation and they need the resident to stay somewhere they feel comfortable with,” Landers said.

If a resident chooses to return home, the staff makes sure they know what they’ll need, be it adaptive equipment, shower adaptations, a ramp leading into their home or occupational therapy.

“We’re going to give them an idea through therapy and nursing services what they can expect,” Landers said.

Hurricane season is a challenge Landers is confident for which he’s ready. The Broadway’s facility has been rated to withstand a Category 3 storm, but in the event of an evacuation, Landers’ team is ready to move.

“If the parish decides we need to evacuate, we go to a sister facility in Baton Rouge. Part of the preparedness plan is what staff will be here, what supplies we’ll need, what buses we’ll use.”

“We kind of had a test run when we moved from the old building here. It took us two hours. We organized it to a ‘T’,” Landers explained.

Communication with the residents and their families is a big part of Landers philosophy. The doors of The Broadway are open for families to come in and speak about their loved ones’ care at any time.

“It’s important to not come into a building, but come into a family environment. It’s not an institution. That’s not the way we run it. We’re no longer just providing medical assistance, we’re also catering to each resident’s needs. Whether it’s stimulation from activities they’re used to doing, to their medical necessities, we’re trying to make sure that they’re receiving the best care that they can get,” Landers said.

The Broadway Administrator Zeb Landers and Transportation Certified Nursing Assistant Tranise Tyler review a resident’s chart. The 126-bed, elder living and rehabilitation facility opened in September. JENNIE CHILDS