New assisted living home opens on southern peninsula

For elders needing help with the basics of daily living, but not needing around-the-clock skilled nursing care, a new option is available on the southern Kenai Peninsula.

Longtime Homer residents John and Erica Neland recently opened Happy Valley Assisted Living on their 40-acre hobby farm at 146.2 Sterling Highway, on the right-hand side of the road as one drives north.

“We are a family-based, ranch-style home with beautiful views surrounding the property from the Cook Inlet, Caribou Lake Domes and the Kenai Mountains. We have horses, pigs, chickens and dogs … as well as a fruit-tree orchard and high tunnel where we grow all-natural, organic produce. We take pride in providing high-quality, home-grown food for our family and our residents,” the Nelands write in information provided about the new home.

The business is currently licensed for five residents, but eventually will be licensed to care for up to eight. Couples, in which one or both need care, are welcome.

Twenty-four hour care with one certified nurse’s assistant and one personal care attendant for every four residents is provided. There is a nutritionist, who also is a care-giver, on site.

The Nelands are hopeful their home will keep some elders who want to stay on the Kenai Peninsula from having to move away. They also believe the rural setting with animals and the couple’s children an active part of the home’s life will add a different, uninstitutional dimension to what they provide.

“It’s like we’re sharing our home,” says Erica Neland. “We have animals, kids, the whole farm life going on here.”

Among the services the Nelands provide are three meals, plus snacks, daily; assistance with all aspects of daily living, including walking, eating, dressing, bathing and toileting; help with administering medications; transportation for events and appointments; housekeeping and laundry.

The living/day room area has satellite TV and hot spot Internet.

Construction on the assisted living home was started in 2016 and finished this year; the Nelands live next door.

Erica Neland, who says she has had a lifelong passion for her elders, is a CNA and has worked at South Peninsula Hospital’s Long-Term Care Facility.

John Neland has worked in fishing, construction, logging and the oil fields.

For more information about the Happy Valley Assisted Living Home, call 907-567-3419.