Long term cares plan renovations, expansions

Special to the Kansan

Two Newton area nursing homes announced expansion or renovations projects recently — Presbyterian Manor for their hair salon and an outdoor deck for residents and Kidron Bethel Village enhancements to the dementia care facility. 

An architect’s rendering shows the outdoor walking loop to engage those who have difficulty thinking that will be constructed as part of Kidron Bethel Village’s Live Forward campaign.


In late 2019, after a year-long training and accreditation process, Kidron Bethel Village was accredited by Comfort Matters, an evidence-based dementia care program that provides top-quality care and quality of life for people living with dementia.

Since that time, campus staff and administrators have dreamed of incorporating unique and innovative elements to support residents who have difficulty thinking.

With planned enhancements focused on dementia care, the campus’s Live Forward campaign will continue to build on Kidron Bethel’s reputation as a safe, comfortable and engaging home for all people, including those living with dementia. Specifically, the plans include the installation of indoor and outdoor walking paths designed to increase movement, freedom and engagement through tactile stimulation, sensory components and interactive elements.

“Providing innovative and progressive care to all residents is an important element of what we do at Kidron Bethel,” said Executive Director Linda Peters. “We’re planning several innovative installations that will enrich the lives of those who have difficulty with thinking. Our design will complement our Comfort Matters dementia programming.”

Included in the Live Forward plans is a therapeutic walking loop that travels both and indoors and outdoors.

“Many people who are diagnosed with dementia demonstrate wandering behaviors, such as walking aimlessly down corridors, going into other people’s rooms and staring out exit doorways,” said Peters. “Our project design incorporates both interior and exterior ‘wandering loops’ in response to these types of behaviors. Residents can wander safely and under visual supervision of staff.”

The interior loop will be located near a small sitting area that has both visual and physical access to an outdoor courtyard. The courtyard path will loop around trees as well as raised garden beds that will encourage people to stop and sit for a while or even get their hands dirty in the garden bed.

“These paths encourage independence and mobility, as well as visual stimulation and, if desired, socialization with others on the pathways, all while keeping people safe and secure,” Peters said.

“Each element of the campaign’s enhancements speaks well to the forward living nature from which the campaign takes its name,” said Derek Yoder, vice president of fund advancement. “This whole project was designed to be forward thinking and innovative so it can benefit residents now and well into the future.”

Newton Presbyterian Manor’s leadership recently announced Together, We Thrive, a fundraising campaign for the campus to improve the salon and create an outdoor gathering and dining space.

Presbyterian Manor

As Newton Presbyterian Manor emerges from the COVID-19 pandemic, its residents have an even greater appreciation for small luxuries, like having one’s hair done or sitting outside to enjoy the sunshine.

When the campus was built in 1948, access to nature and beauty salon services were given little thought. An existing space was converted into a salon years ago, but the space has not been upgraded since the 1980s. Outdoor activity space also is limited. The existing areas do not allow easy access to nature or the ability to offer the varying types of gatherings that residents and their families desire most.

Newton Presbyterian Manor’s leadership recently announced Together, We Thrive, a fundraising campaign for the campus to improve the salon and create an outdoor gathering and dining space.

“We must continue to make progress to enhance the lives of our residents and future residents,” said Marc Kessinger, executive director. “It makes sense to get as much done as possible now, despite COVID restrictions.”

The campaign goal is to raise $75,000 for salon renovations and the addition of an outdoor deck, including all furniture and accessories as well as landscaping and irrigation improvements. The projects would be completed as part of a larger renovation project underway at the campus made possible through a generous estate gift from Christena Bowen, a long-time supporter and later resident, and an investment from PMMA (Presbyterian Manors of Mid-America).

To join the effort, contact Kessinger at 316-283-5400 or Regina Barger, stewardship program manager for PMMA, at 316-652-6255, or make a gift online at giving.presbyterianmanors.org/capital-projects/.

For more information about Newton Presbyterian Manor, contact Noelle Dickinson, marketing director, at 316-283-5400 or ndickinson@pmma.org.