Home away from home

Archived photo
By Shari Harris
Co-Publisher

Hickory Manor is home away from home for more than 30 people from Licking and the surrounding area. The skilled nursing facility is nestled into a corner across from the Old City Park and near the Rodeo Grounds on the east side of Licking. In November, Tiffani Allen took the reins as administrator and the Mtn. View resident is pleased to be a part of the home.
“I love it,” Allen says. “I feel like I fit right in.” She complimented the families, community and staff on their welcoming attitudes.
Allen has strived to bring a fresh feel to Hickory Manor. She is interested in increasing interactions with the community. One example of this is Allen and others from Hickory Manor serving the third Tuesday evening of the month at Jam Night at the Licking Senior Center.
Allen has invited the community to participate in or volunteer at the daily activities at Hickory Manor. Heather Lyons is their activity director and she compiles a monthly activity calendar, listing regular and special events. February special events include Valentine Day King and Queen Coronation and a Mardi Gras Celebration on Feb. 25. If you are interested in helping them expand their volunteer program, assisting with Bingo, singing or playing music, or helping with activities in any way, call 573-674-2111, or stop by 209 Hickory Street in Licking and talk to Allen or Lyons.
Allen is proud of the hometown tradition of the home, with most of the employees from Licking or surrounding communities. “We give you that hometown feel,” she says. “Several of our staff have been here more than 15 years.”
She likes to include the residents in fun activities, even taking some outside for a snowball fight last week. The patio area in back of the building has been long-neglected and she is excited to begin work on getting it cleaned up so the residents can enjoy it again when the weather permits. Allen would welcome assistance for restoring the patio, if any groups would be interested in devoting some elbow grease to the project.
For their residents, Hickory Manor offers physical rehabilitation services, with a physical therapy assistant and certified occupational therapy assistant on site five days per week, under the supervision of a physical therapist and occupational therapist who are on site as needed. A speech therapist is also available as needed. In addition to the full-time activity director and seven-day-per-week activities, the facility has a full-time beautician on staff, offering basic services free to residents. Cable hookups are available in every room at no extra cost. A new service added in the past year is a van, which is used to transport residents to doctor appointments, dialysis and other treatments/clinics.
The City of Licking owns the building and has made several improvements over the past year. The facility is over forty-years old, an age which was estimated by some in 1995 to be its life span. New flooring, new exterior doors, new call light systems and a new dryer are among their recent changes. A lease reduction in 2019 allowed Hickory Manor to purchase the van.
While they have 60 dual-certified beds (for either skilled or non-skilled residents), their average census is currently around 32. If you have a loved one who needs their services, contact Kim Taylor, Social Services, or Tiffani Allen, Administrator, for more information. They accept Medicaid, Medicare, some Medicare Advantage plans and most long-term care insurances.
Licking has had a nursing home since the mid-1970s. In August of 1973, The Licking News reported a feasibility study was underway to see if there was potential for a nursing home in Licking. Seven months later, this excerpt from The Licking News illustrated the progress made: (March 4, 1974) “Incorporating officers for the proposed 60 bed health care center were selected Wednesday evening, March 6. The corporation will be called Colonial Manor of Licking. Incorporation officers are as follows: Don Fox, Phil Wulff, Gladys Ward, Jim Boatman, Ed Green, Jim Oligschlaeger, Bob Rinne, Hallie Lutzenburger and Jim Sisk.”
Due to changes in bond markets, local bond obligations required to make the nursing home possible were initially set at $150,000.00, then $250,000.00 and finally $450,000.00 by August of 1975. The bond drive was successful, reaching $452,000.00 before Sept. 11, 1975. The official groundbreaking was in late October, 1975. Final construction costs were later reported as $749,406.00.
The name on the bonds was Texas County Missouri Health Care Center, Inc., and for decades, TCMHCC was the acronym associated with the facility. Licking Park Manor operated in the building and was a non-profit and non-skilled nursing home at that time.
On October 15, 1995, the municipal bonds purchased by local citizens to build the facility were paid in full and the City of Licking acquired ownership. At that time, daily rates to live at Licking Park Manor were the lowest in the area and the 60-bed home was full. Around 60 people were employed at the facility.
There was extensive debate in the community about the future management of the home. Strong differences in opinion divided the community, with some in favor of continuing the home as it was with the TCMHCC board leasing the building. Others wanted to look at other options, including selling the home or leasing it to a company that would upgrade it to a skilled facility (able to accept patients requiring a higher level of medical care). The City leased the facility to Foster Senior Living from Springfield and it was upgraded to a skilled facility.

Since 1995 three different management companies have held the lease and in 2017, the current management company, Avant-Guarde Healthcare began operating under the name Hickory Manor.

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