Assisted living comes to Park City
September 27, 2013
Ed Brophy walked in the door into the kitchen with his caretaker, Barbara Flinn. He slowly removed his jacket as he asked his daughter, Eileen Kitner, what all of the racket was upstairs.
"That’s Dave, Dad," Kitner said. "He’s putting in that new bathroom."
Brophy removed his hat as he walked toward the stairs to check in on the construction. Kitner is turning her father’s house into an assisted living facility for Level One ambulatory patients, which means they are able to get in and out of the building and walk on their own.
It is called "Broph’s Place" at the special request of Ed Brophy himself. He smiled as Kitner reminded him she had chosen the name he wanted.
It all began when Brophy fell at Burger King on Feb.14, 2012. He was in the hospital for several days and needed care. That is when Kitner stumbled upon Flinn, she said.
Flinn was working for the home health agency that Kitner hired for her father, and she was "really insightful and helpful." After adopting a special needs child from Russia 16 years ago, Flinn became a certified nurse’s assistant and is working toward a degree in Healthcare Administration.
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While she cared for Brophy wonderfully, Kitner didn’t begin her work on the assisted living facility with Flinn until Brophy nearly died on her birthday, Sept. 4, 2012.
"He turned the color of his coat and his heart just stopped," Kitner said. "His heart works great, except for when it doesn’t."
That was when Kitner realized that her father was going to need more care than she could provide and placed him in a facility in Salt Lake City that came highly recommended and just as highly priced.
After what Kitner called a "bad experience for him for 30 days," she decided that Park City needed a facility for the elderly or people who had been injured like her father, and she began to talk to the city about it.
"It would allow them to be residents and be cared for in a home-like environment that they’re used to and have their dignity for the rest of their lives," Kitner said.
When Kitner and her husband moved to Park City in 1993, Brophy followed to be close to his grandchildren. He found a lot that no one was able to build on and went to the city to seek approval.
That was his first experience of many with the city from then on, and now they are very familiar with him, "in a good way," Kitner assured.
Brophy used to take Kitner’s daughter, Alix, out every Saturday and her son, Nate, out every Sunday, that way they could each have their own special time with him. Now they are the ones that visit him and take him out, she said.
"Nate gave you a shave earlier in the week, but maybe we should have cleaned you up a bit for the pictures," Kitner said as she touched his face.
Kitner smiled at him and quickly got back to business explaining how the facility will only be able to hold five residents at a time, but they will each get to pick the color they want their room painted, the faucets they would like and bring all of their personal possessions, including pets.
Broph’s Place will also offer adult daycare for Level 1 patients as well as respite care. Meals will be provided in the kitchen with a dietician. Certified nurses will administer medication, and Kitner has made arrangements with nearby ear doctors, kidney doctors and a podiatrist who will come in every other month to provide services to the residents.
They will also be working with Park City Mobility to take residents to and from the facility as needed and will host a monthly meeting for the Caregiver Coalition every second Tuesday of the month.
Because it is a Level 1 facility, registered nurses will assess potential residents to make sure they are capable of getting around on their own. They will then receive special tags to wear around their necks, that way if there is an emergency, the residents can push a button on the tag and call for help.
Flinn rose from her seat to help Brophy pick out a coat. He and Kitner then walked outside and sat on the bench Kitner and her two sisters donated to the city for Brophy to sit on as he waits for Park City Mobility to take him to church, or Doolan’s, now known as Collie’s.
"We are hoping to make it a nice, cozy retreat here, and you’ll be able to live here for how long?" Kitner asked her father.
"Until hell freezes over," Brophy said with a smile. "Or until I’m 98 and shot by a jealous boyfriend."