“My knees are shot,” Edmund Crane told the Herald Gazette. “It’s just bone on bone,” he added, mimicking a grinding noise and concluding, “If I stand up, you can hear me a distance away.”
Crane said that it was “old age” that brought him to Emerge, formerly the Marquis Rehabilitation and Nursing Center, in Glen Cove. “It was very difficult living at home,” he said, citing the pain in his knees that makes it hard for him to balance, which in turn often makes him fall.
Living at Emerge for the past two years — and undergoing the program of rehabilitative treatment that the center offers — has helped Crane prevent his condition from worsening. “There’s other people here that are in much worse shape,” he said, “and I don’t want to get into that position.”
The transition from Marquis to Emerge — a $10 million renovation aimed at making the center feel more like a home for its long-term residents, and a luxury hotel for its short-term ones — took about two years to complete, and included a new, naturally lit solarium, a gourmet bakery, outdoor social space, a hair and nail salon and, of course, state-of-the-art ex-ercise machines for rehab patients.
These amenities, according to Carol Zinno, the center’s director of nursing, make families feel better about entrusting Emerge with loved ones’ care, and make them want to visit more. But beyond that, Zinno said, the improvements have pushed the center’s staff to do better. “When you have something new and shiny, it lifts morale,” she said. “You take more pride in it.”
Emerge’s administrator, Jeffrey Spiegel, said that in addition to the luxury facilities, the center is committed to individualizing residents’ care. When a woman who had fallen several times in her garden at home moved into the center, staff members designated a section of their garden for her to continue her hobby in a safe setting. “Every patient that comes into our facility is different,” Spiegel said. “It’s about thinking outside the box” when it comes to accommodating residents, he added.
The center’s advanced rehabilitation technology includes a machine that uses sensors to help patients work on their balance, and a neurological-feedback device that measures how well a patient’s brain responds to mental tasks — part of Emerge’s new neurological program. “It’s going to be a huge thing in the community for Long Island,” Spiegel said, noting that it would enhance the mental health of patients who have had traumatic brain injuries by helping them deal with worry and anxiety.
When it comes to new technology for treat their residents, Zinno said, Emerge’s owner, Issac Laufer, “spares no expense. They give us what we need to take care of [our patients]. I’ve never, ever been turned down for anything.” Those requisitions, she added, have included electro-cardiogram and special blood pressure machines.
When the Herald Gazette visited the center last Friday, every one of its 102 beds was filled. When it is at capacity, there are about nine patients for every health aid — not counting nurses — which Zinno said is one of the best ratios in the area.