Chesterfield facility in works for mentally challenged adults - NBC12 - WWBT - Richmond, VA News On Your Side

Care facility to be built in Chesterfield for mentally challenged adults

CHESTERFIELD, VA (WWBT) -

Chesterfield County officials are in the final stages of planning an Intermediate Care Facility for adults with serious mental handicaps.

Construction could start as soon as this summer, with the facility opening the following summer. Currently, the county is working with contractors to choose a bid.    

The facility would care for 12 area adults.

"It would be somebody with an intellectual disability but who also has some mobility issues," explained Debbie Burcham with the Department of Mental Health Services. "Or a severe seizure disorder or vision and hearing impairments and needs some enhanced medical oversight."

The center would treat patients like those who lived and worked at the Southside Virginia Training Center, but would offer a more "home-like" atmosphere.

Blueprints show an activity room, bedrooms, and dining and living areas, in what was described as a more "intimate" living situation.  

It's not even built, but there is already a long list of people hoping for a spot and the experts say that should come as no surprise.

"To provide that level of care 24 hours a day 365 days a year," said Burcham. "It's difficult for them and really impossible for them to do safely and that's why these facilities are developed. To provide a level of care so that people can be safe and live in the community."

And that's the primary goal, making it possible for everyone - regardless of mental ability - to be able to make Chesterfield County home.

Officials say Chesterfield County will put up the money for construction and start-up costs, but they will largely be reimbursed by Medicaid. Medicaid will also cover care and staffing needs.    

The facility is expected to create as many as 40 to 45 jobs.

Copyright 2013 WWBT NBC12.  All rights reserved.

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