The Hancock-Henderson Quill, Inc.
Mitch Worley, Quill Reporter
The La Harpe Davier Nursing Home has been a major part of La Harpe for a very long time.
La Harpe was almost devoid of this community cornerstone, as a few short years ago La Harpe Davier lacked funds to remain in operation and neared closing.
The entire community banded together to do anything and everything they could to raise the funds necessary to keep Davier up and running, and a part of La Harpe.
As the deadline approached, several curveballs and obstacles were thrown toward the community, making the dream of sustaining the nursing home less and less of a reality.
Around the time of the deadline, a man stepped in to purchase the La Harpe Davier Nursing home, saving it from the impending doom almost every member of La Harpe feared was sure to come.
Current owner Mark Petersen became the beacon of hope for the home, it's residents, employees, and all of La Harpe had been looking for to save one of the best kept secrets in geriatric care facilities in the entire Midwest.
Since the time of the shutdown scare, a mixed attitude has been taken up among community members as to the reason why Mark Petersen intervened and how much longer the home will really be open.
La Harpe Nursing Home Administrator Lisa Trego and the rest of her staff have been trying to reverse the sometimes-negative perception members of the community have toward the new regime at Davier, as well as calm fears that the nursing home will eventually close.
"I think people are still worried about how much longer this nursing home will really be around, but Mr. Petersen really cares about all of his homes, and will continue to improve the nursing home as time goes on," Trego said in an interview about an earlier function at the nursing home.
In a conversation after the Eunice Cox Memorial Drive, Trego went on to say, "We're really doing a lot to try to get people to see things are changing here. We have a lot of good things going on right now and Cassie (Pratt) and everyone else has a lot of great activity ideas. I think once people see how hard we're trying to make this a top geriatric facility while still being community oriented, people's minds will start to change."
Pratt recently added that, "We're aiming to show people that we are a good home and really care about our residents."
Each week there's a bevy of activities the residents participate in, including bingo, trivia, a Bible study, and a church service on Sundays.
Some major events are just around the bend at the nursing home, as August 27th is Family Night, and September 13th will feature a hayrack ride and wiener roast.
Undoubtedly, the La Harpe Davier Nursing Home has stepped up it's game and has been very active in trying to provide an upper-tier living arrangement for their residents, a fun and friendly work environment for all those that are employed there, all the while remaining active in collaborating with community groups to host and participate in events that keep them in the public eye.
It seems that there's always something going at the nursing home, and the residents take notice of that and appreciate it.
When asked, most all of the residents explained that the help is friendly and that it's a good place to live, joking and poking fun at the daily nuances they had to get used to in transitioning from independent living to an assisted-care lifestyle.
One resident, Marie Smessert even conveyed her feelings about the way people see the nursing home and how it really is, speaking favorably of the time she's spent at La Harpe Davier in a Letter to the Editor in a recent edition of The Hancock County Quill.
The attitude within the corridors of the home is bright and cheery, and with the outreach taking place from the staff and current administrators toward the community, the same attitude will seemingly soon be conveyed on the outside as well.