altThe Rev. Bill Martin left his post as parish priest at Our Mother of Sorrows Catholic Church, 770 Eastern Pkwy., in June 2010 due to failing health. Priests usually serve until they reach 70, but Martin, 66, was forced to retire early because of the onset of Parkinson’s Disease. He asked only that he be placed somewhere where he could still do the work of a priest – minister to people, celebrate Mass and hear confessions. Fortunately for him, there was an opening at Nazareth Home, 2000 Newburg Road, a long-term healthcare facility with a large Catholic population. The transition wasn’t an easy one for Martin, but after a year and a half, he says Nazareth Home was the right choice for him.

“It was really an adjustment,” Martin remembers. “I woke up after a couple of days and thought, ‘I might spend the rest of my life here.’ But then I realized, that wouldn’t be so bad at all. That’s the truth – it’s not bad at all. People still come to visit. They give us very good care here and we have Mass and sacrament regularly. It is very much a Catholic Christian setting. I couldn’t think of anywhere else I’d rather be at this stage in my life.”

Martin’s praise of Nazareth Home is echoed by the nursing home’s peers. The Kentucky Association of Health Care Facilities, which represents 235 nursing homes around the state, named Nazareth Home the 2011-2012 Facility of the Year.  Scott McClain, the KAHCF communications director, says the award means that Nazareth is the standard-bearer for other members of his organization.

“You’re being held to a higher standard if you’re named Facility of the Year,” McClain explains. “What we tell the judges is ‘When you are doing this, we want you to look as if you were looking for a facility to place your own relative.’ We look for facilities that go beyond what people have come to expect.”