Salem Place Nursing and Rehabilitation Center was voted No. 1 in elder care for Faulkner County.

Administrator Vickey Kirkemier said residents enjoy the facility’s extras like the "man cave," which has a pool table and a large TV for watching sports.

Also a popular feature is the center’s courtyard, which has become home to pet turtles, chickens and ducks.

The facility has two rehabilitation wings, and a third is in the process of being added, Kirkemier said.

The center offers speech, physical and occupational therapy. There is a social worker on staff for residents.

A second courtyard used for therapy is equipped with bridges, a gravel area and stairs, all terrain that Kirkemier said short term residents would face as they transition out of the facility.

"With our rehab unit, we have people coming and going. I love long term care, but I love the unit where we can work with people and they can go home. There’s a lot of hope there," Kirkemier said.

A theater room is planned for the new rehabilitation room, she said, as an option for evening activities when families visit or residents would like to use the space.

While operating under state rules and regulations, the facility has also become more open to residents’ preferences in their own care, the administrator said.

Residents enjoy buffet dining with various foods that they’ve agreed upon. Ice cream after dinner is always provided, Kirkemier said.

"I consider it such a blessing to be able to take care of the people in the community that I love so much," she said.

The facility has been open under Michael Morton for 24 years, according to Kirkemier.

"The facility was purchased April of 1989 when the State of Arkansas took it over. It could only be sold to a reputable owner, and it was sold to Michael Morton at that time. I came to work April 1 of 1989, and I’m still here," she said.

Salem Place is licensed to care for 121 residents, and according to Kirkemier, stays full most of the time.

(Staff writer Courtney Spradlin can be reached by email at courtney.spradlin@thecabin.net or by phone at 505-1236. To comment on this and other stories in the Log Cabin, log on to www.thecabin.net. Send us your news at www.thecabin.net/submit)