Residents of Resthave Nursing Home in Morrison, Illinois, play a group activity where they have to keep balloons in the air with pool noodles. RACHAEL


MORRISON, Ill. — Resthave Home, an assisted living and nursing home in Morrison, is becoming a fixture in the community.

Before the building was remodeled, there was not much space. It was not totally compliant, but also there wasn’t really living space open to larger groups. Two years and $8 million later, the size of the facility practically doubled. Now, Resthave invites the community in all the time. They have a Mother’s Day Tea, family fun days, and events collaborated with other groups in the community.

Though Marian Houzenga eluded to being mainly interested in the Mother’s Day Tea, she said that bingo and the food at Resthave are some of her little enjoyments during her stay. She’s been in assisted living for about a year and a half, though Houzenga doesn’t participate in fitness opportunities, there are activities scheduled for residents every day (depending on the care you’re receiving at the home).

Something of a happy accident that occurred after construction in 2015, was the realized new length some residents would have to walk to get to central gathering or leisure areas of the home. Resthave Home Marketing Director Karla Burn said that the distance is helping with rehabilitation, and general fitness of some residents. Some, she said, come to Resthave Home barely able to walk down the hall, but after a few months, they are walking to the cafeteria.

“One big thing is to keep them moving,” Burn said. “They start walking halfway, then they’re walking all the way...simply keep them moving.”

The fitness classes aren’t strenuous. But like Burn said, it’s about keeping the residents moving. One game, the “noodle game,” is all about keeping a balloon in the air with a water noodle. Simple movements, she said, but it is practicing keeping the joints moving.

Maintaining wellness at Resthave Home is about keeping people active, involved — making them feel that life they had before some health issues (if that may be the case). About every hall has a book case, or a stack of books, in addition to their library. There is a proper church on one end of the facility, and multiple garden areas.

Burn laughed when she said that some residents fight over views. The building is in a neighborhood street, with corn fields to the back. The dibs are for both views; some want to feel at home on the farm, and some want to see the streetview. Burn said she keeps up with requests to make the residents feel most comfortable.

The halls are lined like one would think: light yellows, easy blues. Burn said that this was done to keep a calm about the place. The resident’s rooms on the assisted living side are something of a lush dorm room. There’s space for company, a large, wheel-chair accessible bathroom, kitchenette (no stove), and the bedroom/closet area. Walking down the halls, flowers stand on purse ledges acting like welcome mats — which some people do have.

The nursing home rooms vary only in size, the quarters are still personalized — mainly by family members — and do feel somewhat homey. The furniture in both types of room are something out of a hometown Goodwill (minus the use). Mismatched collections of comfortable, floral printed fabric, recliners, these things Burn said help people feel more at home. Having a resident be totally comfortable and even social, she said, really affects their well-being.