Aspen assisted-living facility boosts eligibility requirement |

Aspen assisted-living facility boosts eligibility requirement

Janet Urquhart
The Aspen Times
Aspen, CO Colorado

ASPEN – New admissions criteria at Whitcomb Terrace, Aspen’s assisted-living facility, will require locals to live in the community for at least a decade before they are eligible for an apartment there.

Aspen Valley Hospital’s board of directors endorsed the lengthened residency requirement on Tuesday, Nov. 10. The hospital operates the 15-unit facility.

In addition, a refundable deposit of a half-month’s rent at Whitcomb Terrace will be collected from those who put their names on the waiting list for the facility. It will be refunded unless an individual turns down a spot for no particular reason when their name comes up.

“You can pull out of the waiting list at any time and get your deposit back,” said David Ressler, hospital CEO.

The waiting list for spots at Whitcomb Terrace has grown to more than 40 names, spurring a call for stiffer eligibility requirements. In a discussion last month, some members of the AVH board advocated a much longer residency requirement than the one-year minimum that had been in place.

“Our board felt [Whitcomb Terrace] really is here for relatively long-term members of the community who need it,” Ressler said.

The list includes individuals who would like a spot at the facility for themselves and locals who want a spot for a parent, though the parent may reside elsewhere.

Those who were on the waiting list but don’t meet the new 10-year requirement will be bumped off the list, according to Ressler. He said he did not know how many people on the list would be ineligible under the new criterion.

Letters were to go out Friday to individuals on the list, explaining the new policies.

If the hospital eventually finds it doesn’t have takers for Whitcomb Terrace units because of the 10-year residency requirement, it can always be shortened, Ressler noted.

Whitcomb Terrace offers private apartments for residents who are able to live independently but need some assistance. They can dine in a communal dining room and receive services from a round-the-clock staff. Whitcomb Terrace shares a building with Pitkin County Senior Services, and AVH is nearby. Though it’s not a medical facility, residents’ health is monitored by the staff, and residents can make arrangements for administration of their medication and other home-health services.

Rents for Whitcomb Terrace units range from $3,800 to $4,700 per month.

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