Our steel crew completed the job of placing all those girders with a “Topping Out” ceremony.
It’s a time-honored tradition in commercial steel construction to have an official observance celebrating the completion of the building’s framing.
In a construction topping out ceremony when the last steel beam is raised in place at the highest point of the building, a small evergreen tree (known as the construction “Christmas tree”) is attached to the beam. In this country, often an American flag is also put on the opposite end of the beam.
The steel framework is up and the concrete floors are being poured. The Plumbers and the Electricians have arrived on site and things are busier than ever! When the floor goes in it quickly begins to look like a home! It won’t be long before the roof trusses go on and after that, the walls will go up!
A Mother’s Day Thank You!
A very special “Thank You” is due to our wonderful Staff who worked this past Sunday — Mother’s Day. Instead of being served – they were here being of service. It is a fact of life that those working in healthcare often need to celebrate holidays on a unique schedule often putting the needs of Residents ahead of their own and of their families. Your Dedication and Sacrifice is Very Much Appreciated! Thank You!
Nurse’s Week Ends Tomorrow — But our Respect and Appreciation for all that our Nursing Staff does continues ongoing!
Our Nursing Staff might be small but Catie and her Team do an Amazing Job day in and day out. Having worked in both large and small places I can confirm that it is the small places like Peabody that are the most challenging for Nursing Staff. They have to do everything that is done in a large place – but without the levels of support enjoyed by the bigger places. I know that I can speak on the behalf of our Residents and their Families in Thanking You for your Dedication, your caring and your Professionalism! You are a truly wonderful group to work with!
Did you know that planning ahead costs you nothing? While we do have a paid Priority Wait List we also have a free Wait List that gets you connected to the information loop so that you always will know what is going on. Maybe you or a loved one doesn’t need supportive services today — but might this winter or next year. Why not get on the list today to help keep your options open. We are not here to rush you out of your home — we are here to help support you with whatever decision that you feel is best for you.
My goal is to stay in better touch with you all. If you have any questions or concerns, please be sure to let me know. Questions that you have might very well be the same that a number of other people have.
The steel framework installation continues and as it does the new building not only takes shape — but it becomes an imposing presence as well! Just a recap for those who might be new: The New Peabody Place is being built in two phases. The first phase that is now under construction will be completed by the end of this year and will contain our new Memory Care and our Assisted Living residences. When that phase is complete, we move in and the ‘old’ Peabody Home will be taken down. When that is complete Phase II will begin which will be the addition of independent apartments along with a new entrance. Depending on what can get done next winter, Phase II could take another year to complete.
If the weather holds, we are hoping for concrete as early as next week. Once the floors are in the other trades will make their arrival and things will start to get busy in a hurry.
A sure sign of spring
I forgot to take a photo —— but Today Mariah fired up the outside gas grill for the first time this year. She was concerned that the smell of grilling burgers and dogs would distract our Steel Workers. We are all looking forward to the time when we can return to old fashion BBQ’s when Members can gather round at picnic tables.
Our mask policy has not changed.
Yes, the Governor did lift the statewide mask mandate (for reasons that many of us do not agree with or understand). But that doesn’t change our long-established policy that is what is required of us by the New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services along with the New Hampshire Department of Public Health. The state has now gone 13 days in a row where there have been over 300 new cases each day. Hospitalizations are down – but only slightly – and at 133 are still almost twice what they were in January. New Hampshire is less than 25% vaccinated — this is not the time to be easing restrictions. We need to do the right thing – not the thing that we want to do because we are tired. We are all hoping for that day to come soon when we can just toss open the doors again!
But What About Nursing?
It has been noticed that when we talk about the new building that we only talk about Memory Support, Assisted Living and Independent Living. No mention of Nursing.
Most Important — Please know right from the start that those Members who presently reside in one of our licensed nursing home bed will be able to receive the care they require next door when they move into Assisted Living. We will be able to do this because we will have a little help from our friends at the Franklin VNA. There are advantages all around for doing things this way. First of all it will save the Members money. Much of the nursing services that will be provide by the Franklin VNA will be paid for by Medicare if provided by them (although not if it is provided by us). We also hope to start other new services such as physical and speech therapy as well.
Much like Goldilocks, we are looking for that perfect balance of how to continue to provide the best in Care and Services and still remain affordable. We have to rethink how we do things and moving away from the classic nursing home licensure is a key component. While this is a new concept to us – it is an approach that is now tried and true.
These are busy days here around Peabody! Please remember that when all is said and done, that Peabody, including the new Peabody Place, is not about the building, but about the Members and Staff inside that building. I am proud to say that I could not be working with a better group of staff!
Good Afternoon All
I hope you were all able to get out and enjoy that past weekend’s great weather!
Progress is being made, although it can seem a little slow. Steel can only go up one piece at a time and while the steel is going up no other subcontractors can be working the site. Steel has now shifted to the Southside of the building. Right now we are looking for concrete decks to be poured starting the week after next — that is when the pace definitely picks up!
Our much-needed new ‘temporary’ parking at the front of the building has been completed and has been seeing good use. At some point soon the old sign will be put into storage as we continue with the transition to our new name: Peabody Place!
Last Friday we had a very productive Family Meeting via Zoom. Group meetings are important because oftentimes one person will comment on something that will resonate with the entire group. Communication — especially during difficult times (Covid) and during times of change (Construction) — is very important. We all recognize our desire to be free from the restrictions on visitation and yet we all know that in part it has been those very restrictions that have kept us covid free. As long as the community continues to see a high rate of new cases, it is expected that the state will be very reluctant to relax restrictions. We all hope that with the increase in the numbers of those vaccinated that the positivity rate will go down. I am concerned that we have some very impatient young people who have returned to ‘normal’ gatherings are going to keep that rate high for a few more weeks. A big question by Families was how the actual ‘Move’ of present Residents was going to take place. We will actually be setting the new building up for about two weeks before we actually move. On moving day, we will have breakfast in the old building and lunch in the new. In the afternoon the computers will come over and we will be good to go! Fortunately, we do not have far to go!
You Donations are Much Appreciated!
We are especially appreciative of families who request that donations be made to Peabody in lieu of flowers in order to honor the memory of a Loved One who has passed. Peabody is not just a not-for-profit organization — it is a Charitable organization that was created because of the major gift of this wonderful old building and continues because of the generosity of many people over the years. We cannot do it without you! Learn more about ways to give to Peabody.
Peabody Place is unique on the New Hampshire retirement community landscape. There are certainly many other places to choose from and while most of them are not-for-profit, none of them support a charitable mission in the way and to the extent that Peabody does. Peabody exists to take care of Franklin and Franklin area elders so that they do not need to leave their own community to find a retirement living option with the services they need and can afford. At Peabody Place, we do not have high entrance fees — We have NO ENTANCE FEES! At Peabody Place we don’t lock you into a contract that can be expensive to break. We know that needs can change over the years and that while we want our members to always stay we know that families can move and sometimes Members will want to follow. At Peabody, we adjust to the member, we don’t expect the Member to have to adjust to us.
I just finished the first draft of our new Pet Policy and still have pets on the brain! The largest continuing care retirement community does allow pets but notes that they do restrict them by breed and weight. I hope they don’t have similar requirements for new residents and staff! For me in conjures up the image of a monthly puppy weigh in and what happens if your puppy tips the scales too far. I can’t help but think of an old Seinfeld episode and some clerk yelling out: “No Puppy for You”! As the proud owner of a slightly heavyset Newfie, I am glad to report that we have not budgeted for any doggy scales in the new building!
Most people find eldercare to be a very serious business. Not here. It is not that we are not serious about what we do and our Staff could not be more dedicated and they work extremely hard. But we also know that working hard doesn’t mean that we cannot have fun. And we do ——— and it is important that we do, not only for Staff Morale – but for Resident Morale.
I believe that in any group of people — and perhaps especially those in care settings – that Residents come to ‘absorb’ the emotional energy of the people they see. During this pandemic that has meant primarily Staff. When we are having fun we are not being disrespectful — we are being therapeutic in the best possible way.
What is our job? It is much more than the tasks that we do to support Residents with the activities of daily living — yes, we do that – but that is not what we are about. When all is said and done we have done our job best when we are rewarded with a smile from a Resident! That is what Quality of Life is about! Our goal is to find whatever it is for that person at that time that will make him or her smile!
The Priority Wait List
On Friday we opened up a special account at Franklin Savings Bank for the sole purpose of holding Priority Wait List deposits —– which have already started to come in. It is not too early to get your name on the list. The deposit is refundable on demand so you don’t have to be absolutely positively sure – you just have to be more than a little interested!
Pooky wanted to see how construction was going so I brought her over yesterday afternoon to Odell Park to see how we look from the other side of the river. Very Impressive. I’ve attached her photo. Please do not hesitate to contact us if you have any questions!
Priority list created so individuals can reserve space in the new Peabody Place now
It’s clear to all who visit downtown Franklin that there is a major project in the works at Peabody Home. The original home, the ‘mansion on Central Street,’ was constructed in 1941 and opened in October of the following year. Over time, upgrades and additions kept pace with changing eldercare standards, the last being in 2001.
The 80-year-old building that has been a beloved residence for many community members is being transformed into a larger, modern retirement community that will include assisted living, independent living and memory care. Such a transformation warrants re-naming to reflect the expanded services and amenities soon to be available. “Peabody Place” will epitomize a renewed culture that will offer more options for seniors in an inviting setting that promotes support of the mind, body and spirit, ultimately increasing quality of life.
“Our home for residential care for more than 80 years is becoming the place for expanded residential care and independent living in a new, state-of-the-art retirement community. With construction underway and the fact that we are taking reservations for those interested in becoming residents in our new retirement community, we wanted to unveil the name and logo now to help us showcase the vision for Peabody Place,” said Executive Director Howard Chandler.
Conceptual rendering of the new Peabody Place in Franklin, NHConceptual rendering of the new Peabody Place in Franklin, NH
Construction of the new 63,632 square foot Peabody Place is being done in two primary phases. Phase one of the project – building a brand-new assisted living and memory care center – is well underway and is scheduled to be completed in late 2021. Once open, current residents will move into the newly built Peabody Place, A priority waitlist has been created for individuals who want to reserve a space now.
After phase one is completed and residents move into the new space, the original building will be demolished and new independent living apartments will be built on that location. Both phases will be integrated into a single three-story building that features a granite and brick façade, large manor windows and will include a 24-hour emergency response system, personal transportation services, a beauty and barbershop, an exercise and wellness room – all within easy access to downtown Franklin. Phase two is expected to be completed in late 2022 and will also host well-appointed common areas including a bistro, media room and library.
Once completed, Peabody Place will more than double capacity from the current 37 residents and will include 13 memory care apartments, 45 assisted living apartments and 16 independent living apartments. It will feature more common space and take advantage of its unique views of the Winnipesaukee River, which bends around a point where the facility is located.
“We’re very excited about the future of Peabody Place and are developing some unique plans for the facility including using more locally sourced food in our dining areas, emphasizing that we are not just pet-friendly, but pet-welcoming, but pet-welcoming and determining how best to use the adjacent Proctor Point property for the enjoyment of our residents and their families. We’ll be launching a new website shortly that will help showcase this vision,” Chandler said.
Funding totaling $26 million for the project was approved through the United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Rural Development’s Community Facilities Direct Loan & Grant Program in November 2020 and construction began a month later. The building was designed by EGA P.C. Engelberth Construction is building the facility and the engineering work is being conducted by Nobis Engineering. Advisory work is being provided by RS Consulting and Northern Community Investment Corporation. For more information, contact Admissions Director Marylee Gorham at 603-934-3718 or [email protected]
We all thought that the wind yesterday would have shut the crane down – but we were wrong! We had two deliveries of steel (from Canada) that arrived and had to be unloaded. What you see today is only a portion of the full footprint that the first phase (Scope 1) is going to take up. There is a lot more building to come! This week and next week will be almost exclusively dedicated to putting the steel up. With a little cooperation from the weather, the plan is to start pouring concrete in two weeks on April 12th or so.
For those who like details — We will not only have concrete at the ground floor level – but also at the second and third floor levels — about 3.5 inches worth. How will they do it? Suspended across the big I beams are what are called bar joists. They are a metal truss that is engineered to be light but strong. On top of those will go some light gauge corrugated (think ribbed or scalloped) sheet metal. The concrete is poured on top of that sheet metal. How is that done two floors up you ask? That concrete pump rig will be back —- It looks a little like a snorkel – but it can put concrete just where they want it. I have no idea how it can pump material so heavy, so high and so far — but it does!
What’s a Priority Wait List or PWL?
There are a lot of people interested in our new building and we need a manageable and fair way to manage that interest and the Priority Wait List is the way to do just that. A potential applicant makes a fully refundable $1,000 deposit which locks them in to a set place on the PWL. In order to get the process started, all applicants until May 31st will have their names put in a hat and selected at random to establish the initial list. After that names will be added as deposits are received. All deposits are returnable at any time for any reason or for no reason at all. We do not have application or handling fees.
What Sets Peabody Place Apart from the Others? (Besides having the Best Ever Staff!)
No Entrance Fee!
We Welcome Pets!
Do an older friend a favor and ask them to get in touch with Marylee or me!
It is easy to recognize glamorous and heroic acts – but it is important to also recognize the more mundane things that are done exceptionally well. Such was the case last week when one of our new Staff Members saw someone outside by the newly moved Gazebo who he did not recognize and took the initiative to investigate. It all worked out fine as our visitor was a Board Member. But Jeremey Bunker went above and beyond what is typically expected in order to ensure that all was well. Thank You Jeremy Congratulations for being our first Recipient (at a time still to be decided) of our Heartfelt Recognition!
We are blessed here at Peabody in having so many Staff who have been with us for years and years. It is time that we start to recognize those years of service! We have two Anniversaries that are in March and both are at the one year mark. Congratulations and Special Thanks to: Becky Joachim (3/7) and Catie Gaudreault (3/18). The Ceremony will be forthcoming and might possibly involve Easter Bunny!
Unfortunately, there is not much to report. New Hampshire new cases continue to rise (a little) even though hospitalizations and deaths have not. Until new cases and overall positivity rates start to track favorably, we do not expect that the state is going to relax any rules relative to long term care centers. Those of us who are optimistic hope that increased vaccination rates will offset the Spring Break/Mass Gathering transmission problems – and that we could very soon start to see a reduction in new cases. But for now we need to hold the course steady and continue with our present level of visitation.
The Wrap Up
These are certainly exciting times! My first month with you has been a very busy one and I want to thank everyone for helping me to feel so at home! In case I do not have the opportunity to get another update out this week – I want to wish my Christian Friends a very special Easter and my Jewish Friends a very special Passover.
It doesn’t matter whether you are on Central Street or across the river at Odell Park — You will be impressed by what you will see! The steel framework of the building is well underway. Although I have seen a lot of buildings go up from start to finish I am still amazed at what looks to be small when it is just the foundation walls – starts to look huge when the framework goes up. This is going to be a wonderfully big building!
The rest of this week along with next week will see the Steel Erectors controlling the site. They need to get in and then out before the rest of the trades can get on site. With so much steel flying around, it is the only safe way to go.
The week after that the fun begins as concrete slabs (the floors) get poured starting from the top down, while the plumbing gets started from the bottom up. Victor is the Construction Superintendent whose job it is to choreograph the timing and location for how all the trades interact in the most efficient manner possible. No easy task on a job this size.
And Speaking of Victor and of All the Engelberth Construction Crew.
Today they moved our Gazebo – that was on the front lawn – to its new temporary home adjacent to the temporary entrance. They installed it perfectly so that those with wheelchairs and walkers can easily use it. Remember – it is now over a year since long term care facilities have been in ‘Lock Down’. Many Residents have not been outside in over a year! Along with moving the Gazebo, Victor and Crew also gave us a doorway to the back patio. Now Residents have the choice of going outside in the open air or in a screened-in area! Moving the Gazebo was no small job starting with building a lifting frame for it and then using two Excavators and at the end a Telehandler that many of us knew by one of the major brands called Lull’s. They did a Great Job that will be appreciated by all right up until it is time to move into the new building! Thank You!
How Will Peabody Place be Different than all other Retirement Communities?
With each ‘edition’ of these updates I am going to focus on a different way that we will be different from any other place out there. We won’t be bigger and we might not be fancier – but we are going to be wonderfully different (which I mean to be better!) than anyone else.
Some places ‘allow’ pets. They don’t much like the idea and they discourage it in any way that they can. I’ve seen some communities restrict certain breeds of dogs and even include weight restrictions. That weight restriction requirement has me thinking about an old episode of Seinfeld with the Soup Nazi. I envision a retirement community that has a monthly weigh in of all pets and if yours exceeds the limit some bureaucrat will suddenly yell out: “No Pet for You!”.
We are not going to create a Prohibition of Purple Puppies that Poop like Ponies — We are going to be as we are in all things — value-based. The Value regarding pets is that Thou shall not allow anything that intrudes on your neighbors right to the quiet enjoyment of his/her apartment and their comfort/safety throughout the campus.
Pets are important for two very important reasons —- one you know, and one that might be new to you.
The first is that pets are companion animals. They brighten our lives. When I get home and my Newfie is at the door wagging her tail — I just always smile, no matter how I was feeling the moment before. Animals are therapeutic. Having a cat in your lap has been shown to lower blood pressure. Why would we ever want to deny that comfort, that pleasure to someone just because they want to retire in a shared setting?
The second reason is a little more subtle. A while back I told you about a pin that has traveled with me that says: “Problems are what people have, Not what people are” In my office I have it pinned to a framed deficiency fee inspection report that I have — but right next to that button is the one other thing on that frame — the “3 Plagues of Aging”.
A little background: Somewhere around 20 years ago Dr. William Thomas developed what he called the ‘Eden Alternative’ in response to the horrifying conditions that he found in all too many nursing homes. He identified these 3 Plagues as what really crushes the spirit of many nursing home residents. The first two are fairly easy to understand: Boredom and Loneliness. Easy to understand does not at mean easy to resolve — it is a huge challenge for all of us. But it is the third ‘plague’ that is equally debilitating. It is called ‘Helplessness’. People who have been needed all their lives, people who have had purpose every day — can lose all that on the day they move into a nursing home. We do everything for them! And yes, we do it with love and caring and of course the best of intentions. All too often our best efforts contribute to a greater level of dependence at the expense of independence. Many many years ago I became certified in the ‘Eden Alternative’ At the time many people misunderstood why it was that Dr. Thomas wanted pets and plants in nursing homes. Strange to some was that his ‘pet’ of choice for elders were caged birds — that many of us thought of as being dirty and nasty little creatures! More important than those birds being ‘company’ for the elder – they also were a responsibility for the elder to take care of. They were needed to feed and clean their bird. It turns out that all studies showed that the one little change made a world of difference.
We encourage pets not only because they provide companionship — but because they also provide responsibility and a sense of purpose that fights that third plague of ‘Helplessness’. Would it be easier for us as Staff and as an Organization to not allow pets? Of course it would! Are we going to have some problems to contend with? Most definitely! But we will be doing the right thing for the right reasons and it will be worth it and our Residents will thank us for it!
A Covid Update
Healthcare — including Peabody – is still in a ‘holding pattern’. We have the airport in sight but we have not yet been cleared to land. The facts show that we are not completely out of the woods yet. With only 12% of the state fully vaccinated, it means we have a great many people out there who can still have and still spread the virus. As frustrating as it is — we need to hold on a little longer before making any major changes. Your understanding and support is appreciated!
How Do I Sign Up for Peabody Place?
Very Very Soon we will be announcing how all who are interested can join our soon to be established Priority Wait List. The Priority Wait List (PWL) is the best way to get the best choice of location along with the best of the pre-completion pricing! More details to follow — but do not miss out on signing up as soon as you can!
The Wrap Up
It has been just over a month since I came aboard — and what a wonderful and busy month it has been! These have been very exciting times!
State-of-the-art facility to include assisted living, independent living and memory care
The team at the Peabody Home in downtown Franklin put shovels in the ground at a recent virtual groundbreaking ceremony to formally kick of the construction process that will result in a significant expansion of facilities and services. The ceremony, captured on video, includes remarks from staff, board members and the mayor, all highlighting the long history of the Peabody Home and the strong interest in creating a “new Peabody.” The larger, brand-new facility will provide more capacity for assisted living and memory care and add in new high quality independent living options for a full continuum of care.
“Peabody Home has given back to this community for almost 100 years. This Board of Directors felt that we needed something to push the Peabody Home forward into the next century. The best option the board found is to put in a brand-new facility that will serve this community for another 100 years,” said Chris Seufert, chair of the Peabody Home Board of Trustees, during the virtual groundbreaking.
Funding totaling $26 million was approved through the United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Rural Development’s Community Facilities Direct Loan & Grant Program in November. On December 22, all loan paperwork was finalized, allowing construction to start.
“Three years ago, we (the board) thought about expanding and meeting the expectations of what we know is coming in this industry. We looked at our 80-year-old building and thought, ‘it’s time to think of something different.’ What we have come up with is a set of plans that will accommodate two times the census and three times the square footage,” said John Benham, who also serves on the board and chairs the Building Committee.
Construction of the new 63,632 square foot facility will be done in two primary phases. The first phase will be the construction of the assisted living and memory care facility. Upon completion, residents and staff from the current facility, which dates back to 1942, will be moved to the new building. Phase one is expected to be completed in late 2021.
Franklin Mayor Tony Guinta participated in the virtual groundbreaking and read a proclamation. “The Peabody Home is now poised to begin an incredible expansion that will not only compliment Franklin’s downtown rebirth, but most importantly will provide a special place for more than 70 seniors to enjoy their golden years in a warm, safe and well-appointed environment,” he said.
After phase one is completed, the original building will then be torn down and phase two will include constructing the new independent living facility on that location. Both phases will be integrated into a single three-story building that features a granite and brick façade and large manor windows and will include a 24-hour emergency response system, personal transportation services, a beauty and barber shop, an exercise and wellness room and easy access to downtown Franklin. Phase two is expected to be completed in late 2022.
Once completed, the “new Peabody Home” will more than double capacity from the current 37 residents and will include 13 memory care apartments, 45 assisted living apartments and 16 independent living apartments. It will feature more common space and take advantage of its unique views of the Winnipesauke River, which bends around a point where the facility is located.
“The Peabody Home has been an integral and beloved part of Franklin’s downtown since the early 1940’s. Residents near and far have come to trust the facility for its high quality of care. The expanded capacity will be critical as the Peabody Home continues to serve the growing senior population of this great community,” US Senator Jeanne Shaheen said in a letter submitted as part of the ceremony.
U.S. Senator Maggie Hassan and U.S. Representative Annie Kuster provided video commentary for the ceremony. “This modernization and expansion of the Peabody Home will serve more seniors in our state, keeping them safe and healthy, and improving their lives,” Senator Hassan said in her video. “I’m just thrilled that the Peabody Home has received this significant funding from the U.S. Department of Agriculture. This direct loan represents an important investment in the City of Franklin, its residents and surrounding communities,” Representative Kuster added in her video.
Meg Miller, who has been at the Peabody Home for 22 years and currently serves as director, thanked her volunteer board for all of their work and support and Rural Development for providing the funding to make this project a reality. She encouraged those interested in learning more about the expansion to visit a new website that has information on the project.
Peabody Home, which is an independent nonprofit organization, will continue its unique benefits that help make it an affordable, high-quality option for senior living. While many facilities that offer independent living often require a significant down payment, Peabody plans on requiring a small, fully refundable deposit. The facility will also continue to offer its Yankee Plan, where residents pay for basic services and can then add in additional services a la carte, so they are not charged for services they don’t use.
Schematics and additional information on the building can be found online. Space in the new facility can be reserved now. Anyone who moves into the Peabody Home prior to the opening of the expanded facility will have a space held for them in the “new Peabody.” The building was designed by EGA P.C. Engelberth Construction is building the facility and the engineering work is being conducted by Nobis Engineering. Advisory work is being provided by RS Consulting and North Country and the Northern Community Investment Corporation. For more information, contact us.