New administrator is enjoing his work at Coleridge facility

COLERIDGE — The new administrator at the nursing home and assisted living facilities in Coleridge has a fondness for rural areas.

Robert Sheckler, 58, is the new administrator at Park View Haven and Embers Assisted Living Center.

Making the move to a different location, starting a new job, getting acquainted with the employees and residents at two facilities and dealing with the back-lash from a coronavirus pandemic can be time-consuming.

Sheckler has been involved in hospital and nursing home care for 30 years. Before making the move to Coleridge, Sheckler was employed at a facility in Gettysburg, S.D., as the administrator of a 10-bed critical access hospital and a 53-bed long-term-care nursing home which included a dementia care unit. The facility also had 20 apartments.

A new hospital and medical clinic are currently under construction at the site. Sheckler helped raise $3 million to build the facility which is expected to be open by January 2021.

His first job was in Benkelman. Then he worked in Red Cloud for 10 years.

Sheckler took on the administrative responsibilities of the nursing home and assisted living in Coleridge April 6.

Sheckler has been impressed with the facility since his first visit.

“The facility is very clean and has a pleasant smell. Housekeeping does an excellent job,” Sheckler said. “I am not planning on making any major changes except I want the facilities to be full.”

Park View currently has 31 residents and would be full with 34 residents. Full capacity at Embers would be 19 and there are currently 18 residents.

Sheckler is taking the necessary steps to protect the health of the residents at Park View and Embers.

He is careful to follow the Community Disease Control guidelines. According to a federal mandate, visitors are not allowed in the nursing home or assisted living due to the spread of the coronavirus.

“Unfortunately, we are still not allowing visitors. It is our responsibility to keep our residents safe. When the staff comes to work, we take everyone’s temperature and ask routine questions about their health,” Sheckler said. “There are no cases of the virus in either facility. I intend to keep it that way — but you never know.”

The staff at Park View and the Embers does an excellent job, according to Sheckler. The staff has been very creative with ideas since residents are not able to have visitors.

A celebration was held in honor of National Nursing Home Week. The activity director held different activities for the residents each day. A traffic drive-by was held at both facilities May 31.

When the weather is good, residents spend time outside in the garden area. Families are able to participate with residents with zoom or face time. Residents are given the opportunity to watch live or recorded church services.

“Ministers are only allowed into the facility at end-of-life situations. This is done through special screening,” Sheckler said.

Sheckler and his wife, Debra, who is a Registered Nurse, will be moving to Coleridge or the surrounding area as soon as they find a house.

The Sheckler family includes three children and six grandchildren. Their son and his wife, who have two children, live in Lincoln. A daughter and her family, which includes four children, make their home in St. Louis. Another daughter lives in downtown Manhattan, New York City.

“This is a good area for us to fly out of to visit family members. That was another reason for us to come to Coleridge,” Sheckler said. “The people here have been very friendly.”

The location also fits in with Sheckler’s hobbies of fishing and hunting.

Sheckler grew up in Verdigre. He graduated from Verdigre High School and continued his education at the University of Nebraska-Kearney.

Sheckler has a fondness for rural areas and has a goal to make sure the rural areas have access to clinics, hospitals and long-term care centers.

“This is important for people in rural areas,” he said. “That is where they grew up and where they have friends.”

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