Wanting residents at Marion Assisted Living to have more to look forward to than three daily meals, newly hired executive director Janet Blue wants to continue activities to stimulate the mind and body.
“Physical activities keep joints and muscles going,” Blue said. “It is also important to keep the brain active.”
Fishing, golfing, and planned outings are among the activities Blue wants to introduce and continue to offer residents.
Coming to the facility with 36 years of nursing to her credit, Blue and her life partner, Don Oliver, moved to Marion from New Mexico where she was employed as a regional operations manager, overseeing three levels of elderly care.
Marion Assisted Living is the smallest facility Blue has operated.
“My goals are to fill this facility to capacity and then expand,” she said, which would include additional assisted living apartments and independent living homes.
Currently, there are 18 rooms with 15 residents living at the facility, leaving four vacancies.
Blue also wants to be involved in Marion by offering information about Medicare, Medicaid, long-term care, assisting living, and independent living.
“I want people with questions or concerns to give me a call or come by and see me,” Blue said, “even if they aren’t going to come live here.”
A firm believer in assisted living services, Blue said people are able to remain more independent if they move to an assisted living facility before they need a skilled nursing home.
“It’s important for people to get just the right amount of help they need with taking medications and getting the necessary nutrition,” she said.
Interaction also is important, Blue said, with isolation being a common concern for older people.
A Kansas native, Blue grew up in Hoyt near Holton. She earned a degree in vocal music and is an accomplished vocalist.
Later she earned a business degree and obtained a long-term administrator’s license. She is also a former executive director of an assisted living facility.
Blue has three grown children and is a grandmother of three.
She and her partner are planning to purchase a home in Marion. They enjoy riding their motorcycles and Don has already signed up as an emergency medical technician with the local ambulance service.
Blue has managed larger facilities than Marion but likes the more homey experience offered at Marion Assisted Living.
“I am so pleased to be a part of this facility,” Blue said, noting Marion Assisted Living has had no deficiencies following inspections by the State of Kansas for two years in a row.
“This place feels like a family.”
An open house is planned 2 to 4 p.m. June 26 for the community to have a chance to meet Blue.