Residents of Welty Properties Benefit from Continuum Care, Varied Programs to Suit Any Living Situation

WHEELING –Offering a range of senior living options makes life easier for local folks over the age of 65 and their families. The non-profit Welty Corporation offers a continuum of programs that include independent living, assisted living and skilled, long-term and nursing home care options.

The interconnected Welty properties make it easy for people to move to an apartment or townhome, then to an assisted living or nursing home — and back — as their needs change.

The Welty Trust was created more than 50 years ago by sisters Clara and Bertha Welty to provide affordable housing options for local seniors. Because of their generosity, thousands of people have lived in comfort and safety in the independent Welty Apartments; in the Welty Home assisted living program and in Good Shepherd Nursing Home.

People don’t always move from lower levels of care to higher levels. Some, like Wheeling neurologist Dr. Henry Kettler, are able to transition to less intensive care settings after receiving services at Good Shepherd.

Kettler moved to Good Shepherd for rehabilitation after major back surgery and a serious infection left him in a wheelchair, and somewhat disoriented. He underwent intensive physical therapy, speech therapy and occupational therapy at Good Shepherd, he said, which helped him progress from a wheelchair to a walker.

As he improved physically, he also saw mental acuity return while he was at Good Shepherd, he said, in part because he knew many of the staff and residents. “I had taken care of some of them or their relatives,” he said. “It was good to be among familiar faces.” The activities at Good Shepherd also helped him in his recovery. “I got a surprise one day when we were playing Trivial Pursuit and I got most of the answers right,” he said. “My family had not felt that I would recover to this extent,” he said.

As his recovery progressed, Kettler moved easily from Good Shepherd to Welty Home. He is continuing his physical and occupational therapy right in-house at Welty, and there are plenty of activities to keep him busy and engaged. “I’m gradually bouncing back,” he said.

Donald R. Kirsch, administrator of Good Shepherd Nursing Home, said families and residents appreciate the easy transitions. “It’s a continuum of care, designed to accommodate the changing needs of our residents,” he said. While activities and events at the Welty Apartments are strictly social, Welty Home and Good Shepherd Nursing Home residents can access a full range of health services where they live.

Both have nurses available around the clock, and provide physical, speech and occupational therapy services on site. The staffs work closely with individual residents’ physicians to provide the best care possible. And both facilities transport residents at no charge to medical appointments, so they can visit their personal physicians as needed.

If their needs change, people who live in any Welty property have priority over others, Mr. Kirsch said. “That’s important, because our properties sometimes have waiting lists. Current residents of any Welty property always go to the top of the list.”

For information about any Welty property, call 304-242-1093 or visit www.weltyhome.org.

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