2009-11-21 / News

Health care facility has hometown atmosphere

By Kim Garee

Lester and Mary Anspach, married for over 60 years, spend some time together on “Main Street.” Beacon readers with good memories will remember Les’ numerous Letters to the Editor that always included how great it is to live in a community like Thornville. Beacon photo by Kim Garee. Lester and Mary Anspach, married for over 60 years, spend some time together on “Main Street.” Beacon readers with good memories will remember Les’ numerous Letters to the Editor that always included how great it is to live in a community like Thornville. Beacon photo by Kim Garee. THORNVILLE - Autumn at the Lake health care center is almost doubling its capacity for patient care after a year in operation.

Since October 2008, Autumn at the Lake has offered 30 skilled nursing beds, with another 20 beds reserved for assisted living. The center spent the past year obtaining state permission to turn those extra beds into skilled care beds, as well, allowing the opportunity to accept additional residents from hospitals and homes.

Social Service Director Kristin King-Johnson said the facility is planning an Open House after Thanksgiving to re-introduce the community to its growing operation.

“Close to 75 percent of our residents are from Thornville, with others coming from Buckeye Lake and Millersport,” King- Johnson said. “This is a small but strong community that is glad there’s a facility here like this.”

King-Johnson said the community itself is part of what makes Autumn at the Lake unique. “People come in to visit their family members and end up knowing the other people up and down the hallway. Our residents get way more visitors for that reason. The people here, they’ve worked together, raised their children together, attended church together.”

They still live in a “Main Street” atmosphere together, too. An open streetscape at the center of the care center features a café, library, chapel, movie theater and beauty salon, all with a lake theme.

King-Johnson said the care center tries to be welcoming for all ages of visitors. A boat-themed playground area occupies an inner courtyard, and the Main Street movie theater is popular for all ages. Residents can even go on a “date,” complete with popcorn, in the theater with their spouses or watch a feature film with their great-grandchildren.

Steve Hitchins, owner of Autumn Health Care, Inc., has seven facilities in the area, each with its own central theme to provide “care that is anything but ordinary.”

Giles Long, 95, was born and raised in Thornville, farmed there all his life, and drove a school bus. He calls his new home in Autumn at the Lake “marvelous.”

“It’s a wonderful place and I’ve enjoyed my stay here,” agrees Margaret Calland, a former teacher and principal who has resided at Autumn since it opened.

Autumn at the Lake is located at 14100 Zion Road. For more information, call 740-246-LAKE or visit www.autumnhealthcare. net.

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