New Beds For Sombrillo

-A A +A

Nursing home: This is the first step in renovations for the facility

By Arin McKenna

Sombrillo Nursing & Rehabilitation Center residents will be sleeping more soundly soon. The facility’s original mechanical beds are being replaced with the help of a United Way grant totaling nearly $80,000.
The new electronic beds not only adjust for patient comfort, they can accommodate specialized mattresses and be lowered to decrease the risk of falls or raised for treatment.
Roger Waterman, owner of TRK management, donated a storage unit to hold the new beds until they can be installed. The old beds also will be stored until Globus Relief organization can pick them up. Annie Vigil arranged for volunteers from the Kiwanis Club to help with installation.
Replacing the beds is the first step in a series of planned renovations for the 27-year-old facility. Fundraising efforts are underway to replace furnishing, floor coverings and wall coverings throughout Sombrillo. “This facility provides excellent care, but is in need of upgrading,” said Community Liaison Mary Yamada.
The Los Alamos Retirement Community (LARC) operates both Sombrillo and Aspen Ridge Lodge, an assisted living facility. The not-for-profit organization was founded by Los Alamos citizens, who were concerned about the needs of an aging population. Their grassroots efforts raised the funds to build Sombrillo. Los Alamos County assisted with revenue bonds and donated land. “These are truly community owned facilities,” Yamada said.
The board hopes to find benefactors willing to sponsor renovations for entire rooms. The LARC board is setting an example by funding a room, and Winifred Amsden, one of the LARC founders, is sponsoring the restoration of one of the activity rooms. Los Alamos Bank has provided the services of its interior designer to create a design for the project.
Another fundraising program allows donors to purchase a brick, which will be laid on a path between Sombrillo and Aspen Ridge.
Board President Ken Milder said that fundraising efforts are underway not only for the initial capital campaign, but for other improvements and to offset costs for ongoing general expenses, such as absorbing expenses not covered by Medicare and for reserve funds for repair and replacement. Long-term goals include opening a wing for short-term patients.
“This is an opportunity to be involved in improving the lives of our residents,” Yamada said. “The people who built this wanted it not just for themselves but for the entire community. Now that they’re aging, we want to bring in the next generation and have them active and involved in volunteering and fundraising so this continues into the future.”
The public is invited to LARC’s annual meeting at 4 p.m. on Sept. 28 at Aspen Ridge Lodge, A reception will follow the meeting.