Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

New Pony Bird Building in De Soto Looks to Meet Needs of Aging Disabled Residents; Changes Are Aimed at Accommodating Aging Residents

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

New Pony Bird Building in De Soto Looks to Meet Needs of Aging Disabled Residents; Changes Are Aimed at Accommodating Aging Residents

Article excerpt

JEFFERSON COUNTY * A photo in the hallway of the Pony Bird group home in Mapaville shows three residents who were among the first 10 to move there nearly 38 years ago, and who still call it home.

A woman in that picture is now 44. On a recent day, she sat in her wheelchair, looking out the window to a parking lot and listening to the radio.

"She has to know who's coming in and out of the house," said Sara Sucharski, president and chief operating officer of Pony Bird.

That woman has seen the privately run nonprofit for physically and mentally disabled people grow from 10 cribs in 1977 to campuses in Mapaville and De Soto with 60 beds. Residents now range in age from 22 to 65.

Accommodating the needs of aging residents means more changes are coming, the biggest being a new building on its De Soto campus next to an existing Pony Bird home.

The new 10,000-square-foot building will include two "homes," each with six bedrooms, that will be connected with a common space. Residents at the new building will have their own room.

It will replace the somewhat-cramped 12-bed building on the Mapaville campus known as the Lane House, which will be converted into offices.

Construction is set to start in May with the hope that residents can move in around January. Pony Bird will still house 60 people after the new home is opened. Now, 48 live in Mapaville and 12 in De Soto. When the new homes are built this spring, 24 will live in De Soto and 36 in Mapaville.

The extra room is needed to support aging residents who need more room for therapy and medical equipment such as machines to keep their lungs clear.

"Ten years ago, we maybe had one or two people who used them," Sucharski said of the machines on a tour Thursday of the Mapaville campus. "Now, it's about half."

Pony Bird also wants to add three respite beds at its Mapaville campus for families who need a break from caring for their loved one. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.