Ground-breaking for Cypress House promises innovative personal care home
The Southwest Booster, Swift Current
By Elisabeth Dowson
Ground was officially broken Oct. 9 for Swift Current’s first personal care facility, Cypress House, currently under construction at 2135 Scott Street, followed by a well-attended information session held at the Seniors Centre on Central Ave. that afternoon. The facility will provide an aging-in-place model in a home-like atmosphere where couples can remain together even if their level of care needs differ or increase during their residency.
“I would like to begin by thanking the City of Swift Current for their support and help with getting this project where it is today and getting it into the City of Swift Current,” said Heather Hauphstein, CEO of Golden Health Care Inc. “We all look forward to providing some housing options to the residents here in Swift Current and surrounding area.”
Mayor Jerrod Schafer said, “I also want to thank Golden Health Care as well as well as our partner Golden Opportunities [Fund, and] WestCap Management.
“There’s been a group that’s been working for an awful long time in Swift Current looking at a personal care home. I think we were one of the only cities remaining that didn’t have a personal care home. Thanks to Golden Opportunities and the work of that committee, we have one on the way.”
Schafer stated in a press release, “As our population ages, it is important that the City of Swift Current continues to work with the private sector to ensure that seniors have access to high quality care.”
At the information session, Hauphstein gave an overview of Cypress House, scheduled to open in 2014. The complex encompasses four individual homes within the larger facility. Each of the home units has spacious resident suites situated around the perimeter of each home’s main living area, much like very large master suites would be, and connected to the main living area by short hallways. Each suite has a mini-fridge, microwave and sink for preparing snacks and a full bathroom with walk-in shower. Each of the four homes features a complete kitchen, dining room, living room, great room and laundry room that residents can access fully, in addition to outdoor space with raised garden beds and a gazebo.
“We truly believe that just filling the environment with life – plants and animals – gives life. These types of activities, of baking or having tea in the kitchen, these are what we do at home, and this actually affirms a resident’s identity as a person and it maintains a sense of self worth. We all like to start our day with somewhere to go and something to do.”
Each of the four home units will be decorated uniquely, with different floor coverings, wall colours and décor, visually setting each one apart from the others. Residents will be encouraged to personalize their own master suites with personal furnishings.
“Cypress House will have four different sizes of suites, and they range from approximately 390 square feet to about 490 square feet, and this gives the resident room to personalize their home, to bring in their furniture and make it look like their home.
“All the suites are user friendly for anyone that requires a wheelchair, a walker, or mechanical lift, and they all come equipped with tables, TV, a thermostat to regulate heat and cooling, a telephone and a call system. And they all have a kitchenette that has a small fridge, a microwave and a sink. All the bathrooms are walk-in. You have your own bathroom with a walk-in shower.”
One of the four home units, called Memory House, will be specifically for residents living with Alzheimer’s or dementia.
“It is a little bit different than the other [three] homes in the fact that there is security on the exit doors, that there is a wandering guard in place so that our residents can move about safely and not go outside and get lost.
“We use our furniture and our paint colours and our pictures for way-finding and cueing, and it just helps these residents understand their environment. Each suite door in this unit is a different colour. When you go down the hallway, you’ll see the black and the white and the blue and the red, and this just helps the residents find their home.
“Their environment is designed a little bit different. We design so that they don’t see exit doors, and they will also have access to their own kitchens and dining rooms, just like they would at home.” Door-sized murals depicting a bookcase or shelves filled with decorative items are some of the ways in which exit doors can be camouflaged to redirect these residents to in-home activities.
“The dining room’s also a little bit different. We have more, smaller tables for residents to sit in smaller groups so there’s less noise and less confusion.”
Rents begin at approximately $3,000 for single occupancy in the 350 sq. ft. (32.5 sq. metre) room, with a second occupant adding $1,500 to the rent.
“For $3,000 you get everything,” said Hauphstein. “You get your meals, you get your care, you get your housekeeping. If you require medications dispensed by a nurse, you get everything. We cover transportation, we have wireless internet access.” Laundry can be done by the resident or by staff, and housekeeping can be scheduled according to individual needs.
Hauphstein noted there will be lots of parking available, also included in the rent, although it will be outdoors.
“We don’t cover the cost of medications, we don’t cover the cost of TV access, or telephone, or personal supplies.”
Amenities within the main complex include four therapeutic tubs that use air and water to massage the body, manicure and pedicure rooms, a wine-making room, a hair dressing salon, an exercise room, a family activity room and a large great room for social events.
The main facility also features a commercial kitchen that will prepare the main meals for each of the four homes, sometimes placing a roast in each of the home ovens for the sensory effect.
“When you move into Cypress House, we will develop a care plan that will address a resident’s specific needs. We have nurses, we have personal care aides, we have housekeepers, dietary, activity and we also have maintenance, and we all work together to fulfill and look after the needs of our residents.
“We also like to work very closely with health districts and this just ensures that we provide the best care that we can to our residents.”