End of the Rainbow?

Efforst intensify to sell assisted living facility

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Craig already offers few options for elderly individuals who need assistance living.

The city soon could lose one more option.

Rainbow Living Center has been for sale for the past two years. But since the center's owner, Bob Grubb, 70, suffered a heart attack that required him to move to a nursing home earlier this month, his family has increased efforts to sell the assisted living facility.

Rainbow Living is home to six senior citizens.

At age 82, Helen Good is the youngest of the residents. She has resided at Rainbow Living for the past two years.

"We like it here, and we don't want to move," Good said.

It's the hope of the residents and the owners that the new owner continues operating Rainbow Living as an assisted living facility. Two parties are currently interested in purchasing the building, and one party is planning to offer assisted living, said Diane Grubb, who has owned Rainbow Living with Bob since 1989.

If Rainbow Living sells and no longer operates as an assisted living facility, The Jewel will be Craig's only business to offer such services. Sand Rock Ridge Care and Rehab is Craig's only nursing home.

The Haven in Hayden also offers assisted living.

When the Grubbs started Rainbow Living, their daughter, Stephanie Herod, was a senior in high school. She lives next door to Rainbow Living today and helps her parents run it.

"I feel like we give more of a family atmosphere and care," Herod said. "It's not as institutional as some places."

A sign on Rainbow Living's door encourages visitors to enter without knocking. Inside, walking canes hang by the door. Poinsettias decorate the large common room. When it's quiet, the ticking of clocks is all one hears.

Rainbow Living started in the Grubbs' house. The business grew, and the Grubbs purchased the building next door. Soon they began building additions.

At its peak, Rainbow Living called itself home to 24 senior citizens.

It featured an Alzheimer's center, which the Grubbs started in 1997. Five seniors lived in the Grubbs' house, and 14 lived in the main center, where the six current residents live today.

But after 10 years, Diane grew tired of people living in her home, and the Grubbs quit placing senior citizens in their house. Then, The Haven opened, and the competition meant they could no longer keep their rooms full, Diane said.

The facility fell to its current population when insurance costs skyrocketed after the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. The high insurance rates meant the Grubbs could no longer accept Medicaid clients, and they lost three more residents.

Herod said her parents lasted as long as they did, because they have a passion for helping the elderly.

It takes two to four years to sell an assisted living facility, Diane said. When Bob turned 68, they decided it was time to put it on the market.

All Rainbow Living's residents are mobile, and they pride themselves on it. Some figure they'll move to Sand Rock Ridge if Rainbow Living closes, even though they don't need nursing home services.

Nor do they want to move out of town, even if it's only to Hayden. Good's son lives in Baggs, Wyo., and she doesn't want him to have to drive the extra 20 miles to visit her in Hayden. Mildred Herring has a great-grandson here. Janet Eberle's son lives in Craig, and he takes care of all her finances.

They all want to stay in Craig and at Rainbow Living. They just have to wait and see if they can.

"It's just the place for people like us," Eberle said.

Rob Gebhart can be reached at 824-7031 or rgebhart@craigdailypress.com.

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