Completion of lengthy renovation injects positive energy among Elderwood at Liverpool staff and residents

Pictured is a view of a common area that can be used as a cafe, gathering space or living room. (Submitted photo)


After more than two years of remodeling, Elderwood at Liverpool has a new look.

Nearly every inch of the skilled nursing and short-term rehab community at 4800 Bear Road, Liverpool, has been transformed. The decor features a subtle gray palette, accented with modern furnishings and retro-inspired fixtures. Ash and gray wood-look laminate flooring appears in many of the common areas. Artwork, fabrics, furnishings, upholstery and accents provide bright splashes of color. Nancy Dichiora, interior designer for the project, stressed the importance of blending aesthetics, comfort and practicality. Wheelchair mobility, acoustics and durability were among the considerations as she planned each space. The result is a resounding success.

“Visitors can’t believe the transformation,” said Administrator Kristin Russell.

Russell hurdled some unique challenges to coordinate a large-scope renovation project while caring for about160 long and short-term residents.

“We had to consider the residents’ comfort while making sure the quality of care remained consistent,” she said. “We worked hard not to disrupt the residents’ daily schedules too much.”

Residents were rotated to temporary rooms while their permanent room was remodeled. Russell credits Elderwood’s admissions, social work and nursing teams in helping with the logistics.

“We honed the process as the project unfolded,” she said. “When it was possible, work was done in the evening or at off-peak times. Even while some spaces were under construction, they often were still usable.”

A community room became a temporary base of operations during about eight weeks of renovations in the therapy suite, said Director of Rehabilitation Services Michael Tisbe.

“We pared down our equipment and shifted therapists’ schedules or conducted treatment on the units when possible to help avoid crowding,” he said.

One of the biggest challenges, they admit, was weeding through years’ worth of accumulated stuff.

“In some ways, it was like moving,” said Tisbe. “We had to go through every paper and piece of equipment and ask ourselves: ‘Have we used this in the past eight years? Are we likely to use it in the future?’ ”

Anyone who has had work done on their home knows how stressful the disruption can be. “Surprisingly, the residents were the ones least bothered by the construction,” said Russell. “They found the project to be very exciting. They developed relationships with the workers and enjoyed seeing all the changes.”

The fresh environment has generated a positive energy among staff and residents.

“Our staff is motivated and engaged. The therapists are excited to use all our new equipment to provide cutting-edge therapy. We plan to move forward to create something new for the community,” Tisbe said.

“Now that construction is complete,” added Russell, “our residents and staff have renewed pride in where they live and work.”

Elderwood provides skilled nursing care, specialized subacute and rehabilitation care, cardiac care, cardiac telemetry services, assisted living, independent living and memory care at skilled nursing facilities, assisted living communities and independent living communities across New York State, Pennsylvania and Rhode Island. For more information, visit elderwood.com.