WHEELING—Moving a family member into a nursing home can be one of the hardest decisions anyone can face. Good Shepherd Nursing Home has achieved a way to help families when a spouse or sibling needs more care than can be provided at home.
The Braddock Apartments, located at the south end of the Good Shepherd campus in Wheeling, opened recently to provide attractive, affordable apartments for people whose spouses or other close relatives are receiving long-term care at Good Shepherd.
Don Kirsch, Good Shepherd administrator, said the apartments were created from a wing that formerly served as the convent of the Sisters of Our Lady of Charity. “The sisters graciously gifted their convent to the home to enhance the quality of life of Good Shepherd residents and their spouses or siblings,” Kirsch said. “The sisters have moved to smaller quarters within Good Shepherd.”
Renovating the convent for use as 15 independent apartments was a $4.2 million dollar project, funded by the Clara Welty Trust. Each apartment has one or two bedrooms, a complete kitchen, living room, and a full bath that includes a stacked washer and dryer. Residents can prepare their own meals or dine with their loved ones at Good Shepherd.
The Braddock Apartments complex includes a residents’ lounge area with comfortable furniture, a piano, large-screen TV and a fireplace. Dinners, exercise classes and other events are held there for Braddock Apartments residents; the residents can also reserve the lounge for private parties.
Demand for the apartments has been high, Kirsch said. “Before announcing it publicly, we let the relatives of current Good Shepherd residents know that the apartments would be available this spring,” he said. “There was a great deal of interest, and we were able to occupy all 15 apartments as soon as the renovation was complete.”
Because the apartments are part of the Good Shepherd complex, residents can visit their loved ones without going outdoors. “It takes me about five minutes to get from my apartment to my husband’s room,” said Eleanor Smith, whose husband David moved to Good Shepherd more than two years ago after extensive surgery meant that he needed daily nursing care. “When I left his room the other night it was storming outside,” she said. “I really appreciated not having to drive home in that wind and rain.”
Before she moved to the Braddock Apartments, Eleanor traveled back and forth daily from her home in Glen Dale. She says she can now spend much more time with her husband. “I usually go over to his room in the morning, and we have lunch together,” she said. “In the afternoon sometimes I’ll wheel him over to my apartment and we can have a conversation, watch TV or play games together.”
Moving into Braddock has greatly simplified life for her. “I had reached a point where I just couldn’t do it any longer,” she said. “Now everything I need is at my fingertips. The parking is convenient, I’m closer to Dave and I’m very comfortable here. I would recommend these apartments to anyone who wants to take life a little easier. “
Good neighbors also make a difference. “Everyone here is very nice,” she said. “In fact, one of my neighbors here was a neighbor of ours more than 43 years ago when we lived outside Moundsville.”
Braddock Apartments residents are welcome to stay there as long as they wish, even if their loved one in Good Shepherd is discharged or passes away.
For information about Good Shepherd Nursing Home or the Braddock Apartments, please contact Tawnya Knierim, director of Admissions and Social Services, at (304) 242-1093.
Located at 159 Edgington Lane in Wheeling, Good Shepherd Nursing Home is a private, nonprofit nursing home established in 1970 to provide long-term care and services to residents of West Virginia’s Northern Panhandle and contiguous counties in Eastern Ohio and Western Pennsylvania. It’s part of a continuum of care that includes independent living and assisted living options offered by the Welty Home for the Aged Inc., a nonprofit organization.
Good Shepherd has earned the five-star rating from the U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, and has been named one of America’s Best Nursing Homes by U.S. News and World Report every year since the nursing home ratings have been issued. The 175,000 square foot building is home to 192 residents.