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Nursing home gets $420,000 lift

BOWLING GREEN - The Wood County Nursing Home will benefit from the generosity of a Wood County farm couple who bequeathed the bulk of their $2 million estate to help the elderly in the area.

The Ivalou and Harold Bordner Private Charitable Foundation gave county commissioners a check for $420,000 yesterday to purchase lift equipment for the Wood County Nursing Home. The 50-bed home plans to install a combination of ceiling and portable lifts in an effort to move residents with more dignity and to reduce injuries among employees.

Commissioner Alvie Perkins said the contribution will "make a difference to a lot of people."

"The Wood County Nursing Home has always been accredited and very respected in the community and the county as well," Mr. Perkins said. "I think what you people are doing for the residents is giving them the dignity that people who have reached that point in life" deserve.

Former county auditor Harold Bateson, who serves as chairman of the Bordner Foundation, said his longtime neighbors in Liberty Township wanted to help senior citizens and at one point hoped their money could be used to build a nursing home. The foundation purchased land for that purpose but later decided it was not feasible.

"Ivalou and Harold Bordner were about as fine a people as you'd want to be around. Harold had a lot on his mind, but I never saw him lose his temper," Mr. Bateson said.

In deciding whether to fund the lift equipment for the nursing home, he said all members of the foundation's board traveled to the Wyandot County Nursing Home outside Upper Sandusky to see first-hand how the mechanical lift equipment works.

The Wyandot County home began using lifts several years ago and instituted a no-lift policy last October. Since then, it has seen a dramatic reduction in employee injuries, turnover, and worker's compensation claims.

Joe Joliff, administrator of the Wyandot County home and a staunch proponent of lift equipment, has been working as a consultant in Wood County since commissioners fired the Cincinnati management firm that had been running it. Commissioner Tim Brown said that, while an administrator was recently hired for the Wood County home, Mr. Joliff is still working with the county on a consulting basis.

"Joe will stay on for awhile as a consultant because we really do believe in this philosophy and what he showed us down at Wyandot County," Mr. Brown said.

County Administrator Andrew Kalmar said the gift from the Bordner Foundation will enable the county to equip all 50 rooms at the nursing home with state-of-the-art lifts. He estimated the equipment would be bid, purchased, and installed within the coming year.

The $420,000 gift to the Wood County home is the Bordner Foundation's largest to date, although Mr. Bateson said the board would like to disperse the remainder of the funds - nearly $1.5 million - by year's end. He declined to say what options are being discussed, but said the county home would be "a candidate" for more funding.

Mrs. Bordner died in 1988 and her husband in 1990. Since then their foundation has established an endowed scholarship at Bowling Green State University for gerontology majors and made contributions to Hospice of Northwest Ohio in Perrysburg Township, Bridge Home Health & Hospice in Findlay, Otterbein-Portage Valley Retirement Community in Permberville, and the Wood County Committee on Aging.

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