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The Millennium Suites To Open Next Month

First phase of $18 million nursing and convalescent care home for seniors to begin operations in Rio Piedras


August 23, 2001
Copyright © 2001 CARIBBEAN BUSINESS. All Rights Reserved.

The first phase of The Millennium Suites–a nursing and convalescent care facility for seniors being developed in Rio Piedras–will open its doors by mid September.

"The project’s first phase consists in the remodeling of 42,000 square feet (the first floor) of a 84,000 square feet, two-story structure of what was a nursing home during the 1980s," partner Juan Rodriguez told CARIBBEAN BUSINESS."

The structure sits on three acres in Reparto San Lucas near PR-1 in Rio Piedras.

Millennium Institute for Advanced Nursing Care Inc.–a corporation formed by Hernandez and three other doctors–purchased the home for $3 million last year. Remodeling work on the structure’s first floor started six months ago.

Partners in the corporation include Rodriguez, who will be the home’s neuropsychologist, cardiologist Francisco Melendez, radiologist Raul Perez, and dermatologist Luis Ortiz–all members of its staff.

"The philosophy behind Millennium Suites is to provide a facility for seniors with different levels of nursing care needs under one roof," said Rodriguez. "This will be the first and only facility of its kind in Puerto Rico."

The first floor of the structure will house the nursing home and daycare facilities divided among single, double, and quadruple occupancy rooms. The nursing home has 100 beds, while the daycare will have the capability to handle a maximum of 300 ambulatory patients at any given time.

"The daycare facility will be for seniors who live on their own or with relatives, but will come here on weekdays to receive medical services, as well as the assistance of therapists, social workers, nutritionists, and others," explained Rodriguez. "We will also provide care for seniors that need a temporary place to stay and receive medical care while their relatives take a break or go on a trip."

One of the facility’s best features is the size of its rooms. A typical two-bed room is 300 square feet–double the government’s 150-square-foot standard. All rooms comply with American with Disabilities Act (ADA) regulations.

Remodeling work on the first phase is being done by general contractor ARC Construction, at an estimated cost of $400,000. Construction consultants include engineers Alvin Colon of Gates Engineering and Carlos Perez Bras.

"Since the building was originally designed and built as a hospital facility, it required very few changes," said Rodriguez. "It was painted & rewired, and floors, doors, and windows were replaced, while bathrooms were completely redone."

Second phase of the Millennium Suites project will involve remodeling the structure’s 42,000-square-foot second floor, which will house a convalescent home for seniors requiring medical attention, and a hospice facility for terminally ill patients.

Development of the second phase should begin in six months. Cost of the first two phases of the project, including land and structure, amount to $5 million, Rodriguez indicated.

With construction expected to begin in two years at an estimated cost of $13 million, the third phase will involve 300 assisted living apartments, for seniors who are still active and capable of functioning on their own, but are looking for a place were all their medical, health, security, and entertainment needs are met in one place, noted Rodriguez.

"Once all three phases are completed, Millennium Suites will have the capacity to tend between 500 to 800 patients at a given time," Rodriguez said.

According to 1990 U.S. Census records provided by Rodriguez, there are approximately 552,836 people over the age of 65 in Puerto Rico, or 14% of the population–making the island the industrialized country with the highest number of senior citizens in the world. By comparison, the stateside average is 10%, Rodriguez indicated.

The Census estimates that the number of senior citizens on the island will increase to 1 million or 22% of the population by 2025.

"The first wave of baby boomers is just reaching retirement age, and the number of seniors who will need our services will grow dramatically in the next few years," said Rodriguez.

This Caribbean Business article appears courtesy of Casiano Communications.
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