Nursing home planned on tribal land

An artist rendering of a new nursing home shows various wings that will used for residents, including those with memory care needs.

The Flandreau Santee Sioux Tribe is starting work on a nursing home that is being built southeast of the Royal River Casino and Hotel.
The 40-plus unit facility is scheduled to be open next fall, said Tony Reider, the tribe’s president. The nursing home, expected to cost about $20 million, will have a strong focus on memory care, he said.
“We’ve got a number of tribe members who are required to go into a nursing home,” he said. Often, they have to go a long way from home, away from relatives and their community. “There’s a big need in Indian country, and we just think it’s a good service.”
Work on plans for the Flandreau Santee Sioux Tribe Care Center began during the last legislative session, Reider said. Workers broke ground on the project a few weeks ago.
“We’re excited,” he said.
The nursing home is one of several large construction projects the tribe has completed in the last few years. Most recently, a more than $30 million upgrade was made at the Royal River Casino and Hotel. The tribe also has added a new health-care clinic and a wellness center. The tribe also has worked on several energy projects, including adding solar energy that is used by several buildings.
The nursing home is designed to have a number of wings for its residents within the building. It also will be open to members of other tribes.
Because of COVID-19, the tribe has designed the nursing home so that it would be better able to serve residents during something like a pandemic, he said. For example, the facility will have an isolation wing and a state-of-the-art air circulation system.

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