McKnight's Long-Term Care News, December 2018, Design Decisions

Residents at Coral Harbor Rehabilitation and Healthcare Center in Neptune City, NJ, don’t have to plan a vacation to the famed Jersey Shore — they already live there.

Part of the nautical landscape for 50 years, the long-term care and rehab community has been given a sparkling $2.5 million makeover by owner/operator Marquis Health Services, which purchased the property in 2015.

Jennifer Hertzog, vice president of marketing and business development, says that at the time of the acquisition, the building desperately needed a facelift.

“It was a tired, sleepy little nursing home that hadn’t been renovated in 20 to 30 years,” she said. “It sits in a prime location across from a 500-bed hospital in a nice shore community, so it was highly attractive from an acquisition perspective, but we knew it would take extensive investment in renovation.”

In her initial walkthrough of the property, Hertzog said it was like entering a bygone era, “with wallpaper that looked like it was from the fifties. It was tired, dated and depressing. It needed a full-scale renovation.”

Enter Jonathan Rhoades, who headed up the physical improvements initiative and oversaw the 18-month project, including construction of post-acute rehab suites, a new therapy gym, dining room, public spaces and elevators, along with outdoor enhancements, landscaping upgrades and a resurfaced parking lot.

“This is a full-scale renovation of a complete long-term care environment,” notes Rhoades, a representative with the Marquis Facilities Construction Division. “Because the property was challenged spatially, our mission was to open it up. And because it is near the shore, we also focused on making it fit within the local landscape.”

From a decorative perspective, that meant adding touches to connect the community with the sea, Hertzog says.

“We’ve infused a palette of modern paint colors reminiscent of the shore — notably blues, pinks and yellows,” she says. “The artwork, window treatments and bedding are all designed to connect with the area. Even the floor pattern has a boardwalk look.”

The two-story, 40,000-square-foot, 110-bed skilled nursing and rehab community has been reshaped to maximize clinical services, Hertzog says. She notes the rehab gym is set up to simulate real-life situations.

Infrastructure upgrades enabled new oxygen piping systems to be installed, giving the community the ability to diversify its clinical offerings. Close proximity to Hackensack Meridian Health’s Jersey Shore University Medical Center affords Coral Harbor direct access to short-term rehab and post-acute patients for the community’s specialty cardiac and pulmonary rehab programs.

Other clinical services include a chronic kidney disease management program for routine nephrology oversight and consultative visits as well as an onsite community support group and disease-specific education.