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John J. Hainkel Jr. Home and Rehabilitation Center 

click to enlarge Residents and staff congregate outside Hainkel Home.

Photo by Cheryl Gerber

Residents and staff congregate outside Hainkel Home.

At John J. Hainkel Jr. Home and Rehabilitation Center (612 Henry Clay Ave., 504-896-5900;, older adults who are critically ill or disabled receive care for a range of health issues both short- and long-term from a team of professionals.

  President since 1997, Mary Brooks Rodrigue is an advocate for Hainkel Home's patients and their families.

  "Our mission has always been to take care of the critically ill and disabled," Rodrigue says. "We were the only place that would take care of them and love them."

  The facility was created in 1891 and currently functions as a not-for-profit 501(c)3 leased from the state. In 2006, the facility was renamed in honor of the late state Sen. John Hainkel for his efforts to keep the facility running despite political disputes. In 2009, the facility was returned from the state to take on its current form.

  Hainkel Home offers both long-term care and activities and programs for older adults who have home care but need assistance during the day. The center provides health care services to New Orleans area Medicare, Medicaid and Veterans Affairs patients, although private pay and individuals with private insurance also are accepted.

  "The neat thing about the adult day care is that although they are in a separate area, they share activities and parties with the residents," Rodrigue says. "This mixes it up, fostering the sharing of ideas and changing the flow of the day."

  Hainkel Home features a beau-tiful courtyard with winding paths suitable for wheelchairs or walkers. Two porches provide residents and visitors the opportunity to enjoy the outdoors. There are wheelchair-accessible picnic tables. The facility houses its own laundry, kitchen, offices and staff break rooms. Services for residents and visitors include social rooms for games and television, physical therapy, faith services, a library and a beauty parlor.

  The facility is equipped with private and shared rooms. Activities are voted on during monthly meetings of the residents' council. Options range from daily exercise and morning coffee to bingo games and music performances.

  "Everything is geared towards residents' rights," Rodrigue says. "It is whatever the residents want to do."

  Current highlights include a Halloween trick-or-treat visit from the students at the nearby French immersion school. Residents of Hainkel Home also get a special treat during the Carnival season when they are visited by the revelers of the Krewe of Thoth, which hosts a ball in their honor.

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