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A home for old veterans BALTIMORE CITY


Funding for a 120-bed nursing home for veterans at the site of the former VA Hospital on Loch Raven Boulevard has been included in the proposed fiscal 1994 Veterans Administration budget, Sen. Barbara A. Mikulski said yesterday.

The $14.5 million facility would open in October 1995 with a staff of 117.

"Our veterans are getting older and starting to need a new kind of care," said Ms. Mikulski, a Maryland Democrat who chairs the appropriations subcommittee that funds the VA. "This new facility at Loch Raven is going to provide the desperately needed long-term care that so many veterans need."

Statistics show that by 2000 there will be 9 million veterans 65 or older and 1.3 million 85 or older, Ms. Mikulski said. Today, 7 million veterans are 65 or older.

Ms. Mikulski also said that 124,000 veterans will reside in the Baltimore metropolitan area by 2005 and an estimated 16 percent of them will require nursing home care.

The Loch Raven VA hospital in Ednor Gardens in Northeast Baltimore was closed earlier this year after a new facility opened in downtown Baltimore. Since then, community groups and the VA had meetings to find a new use for the site.

"Communities surrounding this facility have been good neighbors to this facility for the past 50 years," Ms. Mikulski said.

Funding for the nursing home will be included in the proposed VA budget for fiscal 1994 that begins Oct. 1, Ms. Mikulski said.

Demolition of the old hospital is expected to begin in December. Construction of the nursing home, which is set to begin next year, is expected to provide jobs for 525 workers.

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