AUDUBON — There has been much talk this year about the Friendship Home’s 60th year of operating. Administrator, Jess Nixon has invited the community to come celebrate the facility’s many upgrades and changes following the completion of a two-year renovation project. Nixon reports that the project has had such a positive influence on the livelihood of the residents as well as improved accommodations for staff. “We hear it over and over when prospective residents and families come to the facility that it’s so bright, warm, and welcoming inside. They are really impressed by the thought put into making the space feel fresh and open,” says Nixon. “We’re really hitting our stride and dedicating efforts to developing a long-term plan that will incorporate more facility improvements for our residents, families and community.”

In 2010, the Iowa Elevator Safety Board adopted a modified version of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) A17.3 code. The code specifically outlines upgrade requirements for older elevators. Requirements for the upgrades will be enforced as of May 1, 2020. “Just like owning your own home, there’s always the ‘must-do’ projects that have to come before your ‘dream-of-doing’ projects,” says Nixon, “Two of our elevators were identified as needing to meet some of the requirements. We are working with Rural Development on a grant and will host a community meeting to discuss the elevator project in detail Dec. 23 at 1 p.m.” The Friendship Home is a multi-story facility and well-maintained elevators are paramount to its daily operations. Staff utilize the lobby elevator in order to assist residents to and from the Physical Therapy Room as well as the Restorative Therapy room. Guests of residents on the Memory Support Wing utilize both the Lobby elevator and Wing 3 elevator for convenient, safe access.

The Friendship Home has seen a positive response to their recent annual Appeal letter but acknowledge the cost of elevator maintenance and repairs is a lofty capital expense, especially when faced with bringing more than one aged elevator up to modern code. Nixon explains, “This is an above and beyond need for our facility. We are hopeful the community will rally around this need. We are committed to doing all we can to modernize Aging Services in the Audubon and Southwest Iowa community. Before we can move forward with our next wave of building upgrades, we’ve got to ensure continued usage of our elevators.”

Anyone wanting to contribute to the cost of this project is encouraged to visit the Friendship Home website where they can make a PayPal donation or find information on grain giving procedures and IRA Qualified Charitable Distributions. As always, checks may be dropped off or mailed to 714 North Division Street and payable to Friendship Home Foundation.