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Citing Need for Long-Term Care, Officials Break Ground for Radcliff Veterans Center

Kevin Willis

A new veterans center planned for Hardin County will be just the fourth such facility in the state, and will offer long-term care in a region known for its close ties to the military.

State and local leaders were in Radcliff Wednesday to honor the official groundbreaking for the center that has been seven years in the making. With a planned opening in June, 2015, the project will feature a dozen ten-person homes, and will provide full nursing services to 120 veterans.

Those who helped design the Hardin County facility say it will offer residents a degree of autonomy not often found in nursing homes.

“They will be able to design their own rooms as far as how they decorate the room,” said Gilda Hill, Executive Director of the Office of Kentucky Veterans Centers. “They are welcome to bring their own furniture if they like, if that will make them feel more at home. They will tell us when they want to eat breakfast, when they want to bathe, and when they want to go out of the building for visits.”

The Radcliff Veterans Center will sit on 195 acres of land donated by the Defense Department.

Speaking at Wednesday’s ceremony, Governor Steve Beshear pointed out there is a great need for the kinds of services that be provided at the Radcliff Veterans Center.

“There is an estimated 56,000 veterans living in Jefferson County. There is an estimated 16,000 in Hardin County…7,000 in Bullitt County…5,000 in Oldham County. More than a fourth of all the veterans in Kentucky live in this area,” the Governor said.

Kentucky’s three other veterans centers are located in Hopkins, Jessamine, and Perry counties.

The Kentucky Department of Veterans Affairs lists the following criteria for admission into one of the state’s veterans centers:

*The individual must be a veteran with an other than dishonorable discharge, a current resident of the commonwealth, and in need of nursing care.

*Prior to admission,  each application is reviewed to ensure that medical needs of the veteran can be met.

*No individual shall be denied admission based on the grounds of race, color, handicap, age, gender, religion, natural origin, or HIV status.

Applications are available online here.

Kevin is the News Director at WKU Public Radio. He has been with the station since 1999, and was previously the Assistant News Director, and also served as local host of Morning Edition.
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