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TTC_03_14_18_Vol.14-No.20.p1-12

TTC_03_14_18_Vol.14-No.20.p1-12.pdf

The Region's Largest Weekly Distribution Happy St. Patrick's Day from... The Town Common PRST STD. U.S. POSTAGE PAID NEWBURYPORT, MA PERMIT NO. 51 ____________ Largest DIstrIBUtION aCrOss the NOrth shOre Of ma & COastaL Nh www.thetowncommon.com March 14 - 20, 2018 Vol. 14, No. 20 FREE Your Mother’s Senior Center is A‘changing Nursing Home Battles By Stewart Lytle, Reporter State to Remain Open ––––––––––––––––– REGIONAL – Ten years ago, the ROWLEY– During the 64 years it has been open, Amesbury Council on Aging employed Sea View Skilled Nursing and Rehab Services has a director and an outreach coordinator provided care and comfort to thousands of residents to provide services for seniors in one and their families and has earned the respect and floor of an old house downtown. admiration of the community. The venerable nursing Today, the council not only operates home—one of the oldest in the state—is in danger of out of a large new two-story building closing, however. named for Sen. Nicholas Costello, but It is not because its owner wants it to close; in fact, uses grants to supplement city funds third-generation owner Stephen Comley II wants to employ a staff of five full-time, five nothing more than to continue the tradition of part-time and seven interns. These exemplary care established by his family. It is not because professionals with degrees in social there are concerns over the quality of care; in fact, state work and even criminal justice provide regulators routinely cite Sea View for its exceptional services and activities that director care, and U.S. News & World Report, a leading expert Doreen Brothers said has “increased in the evaluation and rating of health care providers exponentially.” across the country, also regularly identifies it as one of Senior centers in more than 200 Seniors at the Amesbury Center Photo by Stewart Lytle the country’s “Best Nursing Homes.” municipalities around the state are in The facility may be forced to close because the transition. There is a shift away from only offering meeting places for lunch, cheap coffee and board games to include more strenuous Massachusetts Department of Public Health, the activities, lectures and arts programs. agency that oversees the Commonwealth’s nursing Younger seniors are discovering the center, Brothers said. They are enjoying exercise classes like yoga, meditation and massage. homes, has begun taking legal action to revoke its Colleen Ranshaw-Fiorello, director of the Georgetown Council on Aging, said, “I’ve tried to keep our programming broad and license to operate. It is a move that Comley contends is inclusive. I also think it is very healthy for the different age groups to come together in different activities, to have Continued on page 3 grossly unfair and that he is contesting. “I want to do the right thing,” Comley says. “We Reinventing the Retail Store have an obligation to the residents in our care, to our By Stewart Lytle, Reporter staff, and to the community. But the state is making it ––––––––––––––––– AMESBURY – Anna Hardy is moving to an old building on a side street here impossible for us.” with the goal of reinventing the retail environment in an era when the Internet The action is tied to a larger issue that has embroiled appears to be eating many retail stores’ lunch. Sea View for years. The state claims that the facility has The British-born entrepreneur has leased 4,400 square feet with plans to offer unpaid “user fees.” It is Sea View’s position, however, homeowners, interior decorators, architects and builders with something they that it is exempt from paying the fees. Moreover, can’t get on the Internet – custom-designed and built furniture, kitchen and bath Comley points out that the state owes the facility cabinetry as well as unique fixtures and art. millions of dollars for the years it falsely charged Sea When her shop with its 12-foot loading dock opens this spring, she plans to View the fees. blend wholesale and retail services with a focus on events for her customers. Each The federal government granted states the authority of her business customers will be given a Platinum key that allows them to shop to charge a user fee, an assessment for each of the nonevery day. Medicare residents in nursing homes. Also known as She also plans to produce three-day weekend events for retail customers who a “Robin Hood” fee, the money is supposed to come want to learn how to do building projects themselves or at least how to talk to an from better-performing homes to help prop up ones artisan or builder about what they want for their home. that need financial assistance. In reality, the fees are Her space will be finished out to include a full kitchen for food demonstrations really a tax that the state imposes and that aren’t always and classes in home and decor projects, gardening and plantings and book used for their intended purpose. signings. According to the DPH’s own criteria, Sea View Hardy will also offer clients her expertise in the management of construction was exempt from paying the fees when the state first projects from renovating one room to a whole house. She said she is an expert introduced them. Nevertheless, the state charged Sea on budgeting projects. View for the fees, and the facility paid a total of around Her company, In Home Design Builds, offers a combination of interior design $7 million over the course of many years. Because Anna Hardy with Sir Oakley at Photo by Stewart Lytle services and construction management. Sea View could not get the DPH to respond to its Amesbury Industrial Supply Continued on page 3 Continued on page 3 You'll "flip" over the digital edition at TheTownCommon.com Providers You Know & Trust… In a Place You Call Home POSTAL CUSTOMER www.CoastalMedical.com Newburyport, MA • 978-465-0635 AJH_CMA_FtPg_09.17.indd 1 9/20/17 9:42 AM

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