Jefferson Community Health & Life Gardenside

Jefferson Community Health & Life Gardenside is a 40-bed long-term care facility providing rehabilitation services for those who have had injury or illness and a home for those who can no longer remain in their own homes. Like a family living room, a beautiful day room greets visitors and provides a place for residents to enjoy meals, relax and watch television with others.

For any questions or concerns, please contact Gardenside Director of Nursing Laura DeBoer at 402-587-5228  or email


  • Helpful Nursing Staff

    Our professional nursing staff provides compassionate, quality care for residents 24 hours a day. Licensed nursing staff will coordinate lab, x-ray, medications and follow-up medical appointments for all residents. Nurses are available to assess any medical concerns and will communicate those assessments with your physician. Trained staff will administer medications as ordered by your physician, and our direct care staff will assist you to meet your personal care needs.

  • Social Services

    The Social Services staff at Gardenside serves to meet our resident’s psychosocial and emotions needs. Their responsibilities include coordinating admissions, assisting residents with scheduling appointments (eye, dental, hearing aides, etc.), providing transportation to and from appointments, finding resolutions to conflicts and assisting with resident discharges. Social Services staff is available Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

  • Nutritious Meals

    Our nutrition services department provides meal service, special diets, supplements and snacks. Residents have a choice of entrees for each meal, along with a variety of side dishes. Hot breakfast is offered 7:30 am to 9:00 am in the dining room. A continental breakfast is available prior to 7:30 am or until 11:00 am if desired in the dayroom. Lunch is served from 11:45 am to 1:00 pm, and supper is served from 5:30 pm to 6:30 pm.

  • Therapy Services

    If an individualized rehabilitation plan is appropriate, our staff works with an interdisciplinary team to establish a plan. If a resident is receiving physical, occupational or speech therapy services, our therapists work with our rehabilitation department. Specially trained rehab aides assists residents with exercise and strengthening regimens. Our rehab room is equipped with a wide variety of equipment to meet the needs of our residents.

  • Fun Activities

    A wide variety of activities, including games, crafts, entertainment and sing-a-longs are offered for all residents. The Activities Department staff members plan group and individual activities to provide enjoyment, entertainment and education to residents. We take bus trips to see local areas of interest, community celebrations and former farms and homes.

  • Family Updates

    Care conferences are held regularly for all residents, inviting family members to discuss their loved ones’ care with staff members from all of the areas involved in the residents’ care.

  • Resident Council

    Residents elect their own Residents’ Council, which gives the staff feedback on desired activities, changes to make life better for residents, and what types of food residents like. Monthly Residents’ Council meetings also provide a forum for questions. The monthly meetings are also informative, letting council members know about new things going on in the facility.

  • Telephone & Television

    Private phone lines for local calls and television hookups for basic cable services are available for each resident in the room at no charge. Long distance telephone service is available for an additional fee. Residents and visitors can also use the big screen televisions in the dayroom, chapel area and dining room.

  • Weekly Worship

    Church service and Bible studies are held in the Gardenside dayroom/chapel.

  • Holiday Celebrations

    Special holiday parties and buffets are held periodically throughout the year. Activities are planned for residents and their family members to enjoy, including entertainment, crafts and games. Families are encouraged to use our facilities for gatherings and are asked to contact us to reserve spaces.

  • Barber & Beautician Services

    A beautician who works as an independent agent offers a variety of services in our beauty shop, including haircuts, styles, perms and coloring. The resident or their family is responsible for the costs of these services. A beautician or barber of the residents’ choosing also may use our shop at no cost, but these appointments must schedule with the social services department.

COVID Report

We are required by regulation to report the cumulative number of positive tests among Gardenside staff since the onset of COVID-19 in March 2020. To date we have had 66 staff test positive for COVID-19, with the last positive result in August.

We have had eight Gardenside residents test positive for COVID since the onset of the pandemic. The last positive result was in January 2022.

Updated 8/9/2022

Gardenside visitation

Please note: Door 31 is now unlocked from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. The interior doors to Gardenside and Cedarwood are locked. When you come to visit you may enter into the breezeway and use the doorbell (on the west wall) to let staff know you are here.

Guidelines for Visitation at Gardenside:

  • Gardenside will no longer limit the frequency or length of visits for residents.
  • Because of Gardenside’s space limitations and the continuing need to distance for infection prevention, we recommend no more than 3 visitors at a time. Please visit with Social Services or the Director of Nursing about larger groups if needed.
  • Appointments continue to be recommended to help Gardenside staff accommodate visits and space and maintain the core principals of infection prevention for COVID-19. Appointments can be made by calling the facility at 402-729-5220. Please wait for the prompt and select option 1. Appointments are NOT required.
  • When visitors arrive on campus they are asked to go to door 31. The door will be open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily, allowing visitors to enter the breezeway. Please ring the doorbell located on the west wall and a staff member will come to assist them.
  • All visitors must screen at the kiosk before entering Gardenside.
  • All visitors must perform hand hygiene before entering, during the visit and prior to leaving, and any time they touch their face mask.
  • Proper face covering or mask is required for the entire visit.
  • Physical distancing of at least 6 feet is required between visitor and residents and/or staff.
  • Visitors should enter and go directly to their visit. Please don’t wander the halls, stand at the nurses station or go to the day room or dining room. Please don’t get closer than 6 feet to any residents who are in the halls.
  • Visits may be held in the resident’s room if they have a private room or a semi private room with no roommate. Otherwise, visits will be scheduled in visitation rooms.
  • Do NOT enter the facility if you are ill, have a recent positive COVID-19 test, or have been asked to quarantine or isolate.
  • Residents are allowed to go out of the facility for outings with family at any time. We encourage them to avoid large gatherings. Staff appreciates a 24-hour notice to ensure proper paperwork is completed. Please contact the facility at 402-729-5220 Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. to schedule outings.
  • Visitors who do not adhere to the core principals of COVID-19 infection prevention (including screening, masking, hand sanitizer, distancing, etc.) they will be asked to leave the facility and prohibited from visiting.

Family Update

Gardenside is in the Green Zone.

What does Green Zone mean? Residents are sharing meals in the dining room, and participating in activities once again. Residents can be out of their rooms (unless they have symptoms and are waiting for a test result.) Although residents are not required to mask when they are out of their rooms, masking is encouraged. Residents are not required to be tested unless they have symptoms.
Staff continue to mask. Staff who are “up to date” on vaccinations will only be tested during outbreak testing. Staff who are not “up to date” will be tested according to our county community transmission rate as published by the CDC.
Visitors continue to be screened before entering and MUST continue to abide by the strict core principals of infection control: masking, social distancing and good hand hygiene. If they are not able to comply they will be asked to leave. Visitors must also understand there is a risk that they could be exposed to COVID while visiting. 

Gardenside continues to make phone calls, Zoom chats, and other electronic communication available for family members and residents.

As we have since the beginning of the pandemic, Gardenside is working closely with ICAP and DHHS on recommendations and guidelines to keep all residents safe.

If you would like more information on this, contact Laura DeBoer, RN, Director of Nursing, at 402-587–5228.
We want families to be informed on vaccinations. See links below to important documents.

Gardenside COVID-19 Vaccine Letter For – Family

Vaccination Info sheet for family and staff


If you have questions, please contact us!

Gardenside News

Gardenside publishes a monthly newsletter, available by mail free of charge for all subscribers, including family members of residents, volunteers, community members and others. The newsletter can be downloaded from the website for your convenience. To download, click “Download Gardenside News” button above. To subscribe, please contact editor Lana Likens at 402.729.6855 or


Gardenside has served the long-term care needs of the community since 1963, and was part of the first new combination hospital and nursing home built in Nebraska. There have been many changes over the years, including additions, remodeling and new programs and services. Gardenside is now licensed for 40 beds, including one hospice bed.


Gardenside has once again received a 5 Star Quality Rating from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid. Gardenside received this honor in 2008 when the rating system was first established and has remained at a 5 Star Rating since that time. Facilities are assigned star ratings from a low of one star to a high of five stars based on health inspection surveys, staffing information and quality of care measures. For more about the rating system, visit Nursing Home Compare.

Gardenside Bronze - Commitment to Quality Award 2017

Gardenside was recognized as a 2017 recipient of the Bronze Commitment to Quality Award for its dedication to improving the lives of residents through quality care. The award is one of the three progressive award levels through the National Quality Award Program, presented by the American Health Care Association (AHCA) and the National Center for Assisted Living (NCAL). Gardenside is one of 13 Nebraska facilities to earn the bronze award for 2017. Click here to read more about this honor.


Burke Kline, DHA, CHFP, FACHE

402-729-3351, extension 4497

Laura DeBoer RN, DON

Laura DeBoer, RN

Director of Nursing

Anne Itzen, RN, MSN

Assistant Director of Nursing

Melissa Bennett, RN, MDS Coordinator

Melissa Bennett, RN

MDS Coordinator

Cassie Whitmore, RD, LMNT, Dietitian

Cassie Whitmore, RD, LMNT


Nate Behrends, Evening Activities Director

Nate Behrends

Evening Activities Coordinator
402-729-5220, option 3

Wayne Franzen

Day Activities Coordinator
402-729-5220, option 3

Visiting Hours

Please see COVID visiting information above

The COVID-19 Pandemic has meant many changes since March 2020 in Gardenside’s visitation policies. We encourage family and friends are encouraged to visit as often as they are able – but we do currently require appointments. Appointments need to be made using Sign Up Genius. SignUp Genius can be accessed from the website: go to, Locations, Gardenside, SignUp Genius. If you need assistance with SignUp Genius, please contact Social Services.

Visitors are currently asked to use Door 31 (located between Gardenside and Cedarwood on the west side of the building) and call to let us know you have arrived. All visitors are screened and will be masked during their visit.

If you are interested in taking a resident out of the building, please contact Laura DeBoer, RN, or Social Services to discuss current requirements.

Rate Information

The charges for nursing care and services provided by Gardenside depend upon the care needs of the resident. Our services are goal-oriented to restore each resident to his or her highest level of independence and comfort.

The rates at Gardenside are based on six levels of care that describe the types of care a resident may need. The six levels are determined through a state approved assessment evaluation that is updated at regular intervals to reflect changes a resident may experience. The evaluation reflects the amount of assistance and nursing care needed by the resident in the activities of daily living and other social and emotional areas.

Each resident is admitted at a Level 4 (either private or semi-private) room level until the assessment phase is completed. Rates are then adjusted as necessary, depending upon the care required. We do not require a down payment as in many other facilities.

Rates are $183 per day for a resident at Level 1 in a semi-private room, and go up to $304 per day for a resident at Level 6 in a semi-private room. A Level 4 (where a resident will be admitted at until assessment is fully completed) is $254 per day for a semi-private room. For a resident at a Level 1 in a private room, the charge ranges from $196 per day to $317 per day for resident in a private room at Level 6. A Level 4 is $267 per day for a private room.

Rate Comparison

Our daily rates are very competitive and frequently less than other area facilities. We include most supplies in our daily rates, as opposed to charging for each individual item needed.

Our daily room rates include all of the following services:

  • No down payment
  • 24-hour nursing care and assistance to meet our residents’ needs
  • Routine restorative care program
  • Routine medical and personal comfort supplies, such as tissues, deodorant, mouthwash, adult incontinence products
  • Nutritious meals and snacks
  • Special dietary needs (including supplements)
  • Individualized and group activities programs (parties, outings, celebrations, daily calendar)
  • Medication administration
  • Housekeeping services
  • Personal laundry and linen service, including bed and bath linens
  • Personalized resident care planning and conferences with family
  • Whirlpool baths or showers, including bath supplies, shampoo, nail care and lotions
  • Facility security system
  • Courtyard gardening
  • Transportation, to and from local medical appointments, within 30 miles. We encourage family members to accompany residents to appointments out of town.
  • Membership at Jefferson Community Health & Life Burkley Fitness Center (includes armchair, wheelchair aerobics classes, walking track and other activities offered by the wellness center)

Our daily rates also include the following items, which many other facilities charge separately for:

  • Free basic cable TV
  • Use of wheelchair or walkers
  • Wanderguard security device use
  • Free local phone service