Mount View Care Center: Not Your Ordinary Nursing Home – A Look at What's Makes Us Special

Mount View Care Center has been recognized by U.S. News & World Report as one of the "Best Nursing Homes" in the United States and has received the highest possible overall rating of five stars for the third consecutive year. The Best Nursing Homes 2014 ratings highlight the top nursing homes in each city and state, out of nearly 16,000 facilities nationwide. Mount View Care Center has achieved this honor through assessments in health inspections, level of nurse staffing and quality of care. Rankings are also based upon a rating from the Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services (CMS).

It's more than just a rating that makes Mount View Care Center special. It's the feeling you get when you stay here, when you visit, and when you walk through every hallway.

WJFW TV-12 ran this special highlighting Mount View Care Center in Wausau and find out what we are all about, from the inside out.

WAUSAU - A movie lounge, spa room, multi-sensory therapy corner and panoramic views of the lake are just some amenities residents at Mount View Care Center can enjoy.

But the facility isn’t strictly about ambiance.

“It shows good faith and good service when people are definitely looking at where they need to improve and improving, putting a plan in place," said Merry Wimmer, Mount View Care Center social worker.

Five years ago, the Marathon County Board wanted to sell Mount View. It was costing the county more than 5 million dollars a year to operate. That was all taxpayer money. The county still owns the building, but all operations are handled by North Central Health Care.

The risk of being sold motivated facility administrators to make major changes. One of those changes was moving away from the standard medical model in nursing homes.

“How we turned things around was we took a look at the whole picture. We looked at who is the most important person here, and it’s the resident," said Wimmer.
"We went to the philosophy of resident-centered care; which, rather than meet our timeline, we looked at what the resident needs and adjusted our services to meet resident needs.”

Focusing on patient-based care helped the facility stay well below the average re-admission rates for residents.The national hospital re-admission average is 21 percent for Mount View, it’s nine percent.

“We try to make their quality of life here as best as possible," said Jennifer Farth, registered nurse at Mount View.

Administrators like Lisa Henkelman believe nurses are the heartbeat of the care center.

"You have to be able to spend that one-on-one time with residents. Things change constantly around here and you have to be able to deal with that change," said Henkelman."You can be very busy and need to be able to deal with that business and prioritize.”

Depending on proper care for someone you love means depending on those nurses.

“We don’t have physicians here 24/7 like they do at a hospital, so the nurses are relied on to make the decision and truly assess the patient."

There’s plenty of paperwork to sort through when you’re picking the right nursing home for you family, like checklists and ratings. But listening to what the resident say about living at the facility is also important.

Marilyn Vliestra has been at the Mount View Care Center Resident for more than a year. So far, she has no complaints.

”There’s somebody around here all the time, at night and everything," said Vliestra.

Mount View works to make the care center feel more like home than a hospital Residents can decorate their rooms; whether it’s with Christmas lights or big game. That freedom comforts the residents.

“It’s wonderful. I know that I couldn’t home and take care of myself like they take care of me here, so I feel fine about it.”