“We’re very proud of how we’ve become part of the community,” said Director of Social Work Estela Divino, who has been with Regal Heights since 2000 and helped the center celebrate its 10th anniversary. “When you talk to Jackson Heights residents about us, they think about our blood drives and health fairs.”
Seniors can stay just weeks to recuperate and rehabilitate after hospitalization or make their new permanent home at Regal Heights, which houses 280 residents. There are also non-residents enrolled in the medical-model adult daycare program, which provides seniors with physical care and activities.
“We help the residents with their adjustment. We address issues like anxiety and depression,” said Divino. “When they go home we work closely with community resources and families to ensure safe discharge home and community re-entry.”
The seniors who do stay enjoy comforts such as views of the NYC skyline, cozy lounge areas with large screen televisions, libraries with internet access, and spacious dining areas.
“It doesn’t feel like a nursing home, it feels like a home, but it’s upscale like a hotel,” said Divino.
Regal Heights also serves residents with a bariatric unit, hospice, and unique programs like the Perfect Join Program and the Wound Care Program.
Long-term residents have the opportunity to participate in the Residents Council, a resident-run group with a president, vice president, and secretary that meets monthly to discuss Regal Heights-related orders of business.
Divino mentioned an instance in which residents formed a food subcommittee to change their dining menus. They met with a dietician and chef to make the desired changes.
“It enhances their quality of life because we take into account any suggestions they have,” said Divino. “We don’t run their meetings, they do. If we attend, it’s because we’re invited as guests.”
She added that another wonderful thing about the facility is that it’s home to people of all backgrounds. There is a significant population of Asian, Latino and South Asian residents, which is reflective of the Queens as a whole.
“It’s a very diverse population. Our residents and staff speak many languages. It’s really a melting pot here at Regal Heights.”
Regal Heights Rehabilitation and Health Care Center is located at 70-05 35th Avenue in Jackson Heights. Call 718-662-5100 or visit www.regalheightsrehab.com for more information.