CEDAR FALLS — Myra Seichter watched from the side of the room as Kirsten Jacobsen, director of rehabilitation at Reliant Rehabilitation, lowered a large platform down below the floor. Water began filling the space.
It kept going lower — it can go down to five feet below the surface of the water — and that had Seichter a bit worried.
“What about for a short person like me?” she finally asked.
“It can stop at any point,” Jacobsen reassured her.
Seichter, who was touring Pinnacle Specialty Care’s brand-new facility behind Menards in Cedar Falls, was floored.
“I’ve never heard of it before — the idea that you can walk out on it,” she said. “And I’ve always heard that pool therapy is good.”
Pinnacle’s staff hopes the hydrotherapy, which has a treadmill, jets and support bars, will be one of the unique features that will convince people like Seichter to move to the new long-term care facility — or get their rehabilitation therapy done there.
Administrators and executives touted the pool, as well as the building’s eco-friendly materials and other amenities, during their open house Monday afternoon.
“Just eight or 10 short months ago, we were having a rafter-raising,” said Jason Bridie, director of marketing for Care Initiatives, which owns Pinnacle. “This whole area is growing, and we’re proud to be a part of it.”
The 100-bed facility is an open-concept design, with five wings that all meet in a central entry, dining area and courtyard. Besides the therapy pool, there is a therapy gym, a whirlpool room and shower room and several common areas.
“Isn’t it amazing what you can do with a piece of ground and 15 million dollars?” said Miles King, CEO of Care Initiatives.
Several speakers at Monday’s event touted the facility’s beauty, noting a few residents and families got a sneak peek on Friday. They’ll begin moving in this week.
“One resident said, ‘I’ve never been to a place this nice,’ and I said, ‘Well, it’s about time. Welcome home,’” said Teri Osborn, administrator of Pinnacle.
Most of the first residents will be moving directly from Windsor Specialty Care in Cedar Falls, which is being replaced by Pinnacle. It’s one of 14 nursing homes in the state of Iowa under Care Initiative’s umbrella that has been replaced. Care Initiatives owns 44 facilities in Iowa.
“What a beautiful place to work in, to live in,” said Char Schlepp, vice president and director of operations at Care Initiative.
But Pinnacle’s charm — like its hydrotherapy pool — goes deeper than its beauty, said King.
“The building is beautiful, but it’s about the care, and that’s what they’re going to get,” he said.