Payson Care Center Becoming Regional Facility Of Choice

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The quality of service offered residents and patients at Payson Care Center is giving the facility a far-reaching reputation.

"We're getting referrals from throughout Arizona and New Mexico," Lucinda Campbell, director of nursing, said.

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Among the many changes at Payson Care Center in 2004 was an expansion of the dining room. The dining area also serves as a recreation room where residents are entertained by local performers like the Senior Center Dancers. The facility has served the Rim country since 1985.

They've even had inquiries from California, according to Krystal Glasscock, who handles the center's marketing.

"Payson Care Center is committed to being the provider of choice for long term care and skilled nursing needs in the Rim country," said James Gann, administrator of the facility.

Campbell believes the big draws for Payson Care Center are its therapy department, which serves both out-patients and those in-house, and its facility for those suffering from Alzheimer's disease or dementia.

"In therapy, the biggest thing is our anodyne," she said. "It's an infrared light therapy that stimulates healing, helps with pain management, wound therapy and joints."

She said it must be used in conjunction with traditional physical therapy to get the best results.

The facility offers traditional physical therapy, along with occupational and speech therapy. Another change in 2004 was full-time access to a speech therapist. In the past, Payson Care Center's speech therapist came in on a part-time basis. The department currently has seven people employed, including restorative aids who help with range-of-motion work, and other skills.

About 25 percent of the patients served by the center's therapy department are out-patients.

Not everyone at Payson Care Center is a resident. It is the facility where Payson Regional Medical Center sends its patients who are at a stage in their recovery which necessitates more care than can be provided in the individual's home, but not hospitalization.

"I personally want to thank our staff for their commitment to excellence," Gann said. That quality of service has given the facility high marks among its fellow Life Care Centers of America, according to Campbell.

Campbell said upgrading the dietary services was another change put in place in 2004.

"We're developing more creative menus and expanded our dining area," she said. The dining room also has been equipped with steam tables to keep food warm.

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The addition of special anodyne therapy to the rehabilitation unit of Payson Care Center has expanded outpatient options. "(Anodyne) is an infrared light therapy that stimulates healing, helps with pain management, wound therapy and joints," said Lucinda Campbell, director of nursing.

Another change is the adoption of a "commit to admit" philosophy, Campbell said.

Explaining that Payson Care Center will admit anyone for whom they can provide quality care.

"We love our residents," Campbell said. "We serve all ages."

During 2004 Payson Care Center had residents from 25 to 100 and all ages in between.

There are at least three activities a day provided for residents, which is a big feature, Campbell said.

"We take them to lunch. We go to the casino. We take them to Wal-Mart to shop," she said. Many of the residents are free to come and go as they like.

"Nursing homes aren't prisons," Campbell said.

The facility's care of patients with Alzheimer's disease or dementia is enhanced by the use of the Wander Guard system, Glasscock said.

"The patients wear bracelets that will automatically lock the door if they are near it," Campbell explained.

Payson Care Center enjoyed some physical improvements in 2004. A whole new roof was put on the building by Shreeve Roofing, Glasscock said.

The 20-year-old building will see remodeling upgrades in the coming year, Campbell said.

For more information about Payson Care Center, call (928) 474-6896, or stop by the facility at 107 E. Lone Pine Drive, near Payson Regional Medical Center.

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