Last Updated: Friday - 09/24/2010
Week of May 28, 2007
New Youville Home offers more privacy for elderly residents
New building stands in long tradition begun by the Grey Nuns
By BILL GLEN
It will provide a higher level of care with upgrades that decrease greenhouse gas emissions. Spacious windows provide plenty of natural light.
The old building was to be demolished and replaced with supportive housing in the second phase of construction once the new building was open. Those plans have been deferred "for a couple of years," Manning said.
"In responding to the immediate needs of regional long-term care, we will keep the original facility open for 96 residents once renovations are completed."
Auxiliary refers to the highest level of long-term care available, Manning said.
"There will be a total of 235 residents on-site. Of the 139 residents in the new building, 124 are long-term care beds and 15 private suites.
"The private suites are designed for those who are living independently, but may benefit from access to services like meals or housekeeping. It's new for us."
Only six of the rooms in the new building are semi-private, but designed to maximize privacy. Each person has his or her own window. At the entrance to each room is a glass curio cabinet that the residents have filled with personal mementos.
All rooms are air-conditioned. Each resident room has a sensor that activates the washroom light if a resident gets up in the middle of the night. The rooms are equipped with an overhead lift system for transferring the residents from their bed to a wheelchair.
"This certainly makes it a more comfortable and safe method for them and the staff," Manning said.
St. Albert senior Maurice Tailleur also enjoys his own apartment.
"I got along well with my roommate, but this is nice," said Tailleur, 79. "A private room is really something."
Tailleur likes sitting beside the large gas fireplace near the building's entrance. He enjoys the wide corridors that provide ample room for wheelchairs and walkers.
"This is nice. A private room is really something."
Both Panych and Tailleur attend Mass in the chapel. Tailleur goes every Sunday while Panych tries to attend every day.
They agree that having the chapel is important.
"It's so beautiful," Tailleur said.
Youville's location serves seniors in St. Albert, north Edmonton and the surrounding rural community.
Manning says it's a benefit to the entire family to have a loved one cared for close to home. "It's good for the family because they remain close to where their relationships are and their connection to the community," she said.
About 200 volunteers dedicate hundreds of hours helping staff care for the residents. They'll push wheelchairs or sit and read to the residents. They do numerous activities in-house, but are available to take them out.
"We are so fortunate to have considerable support from volunteers. There is a close connection between the community and Youville. We are blessed to have them continue the mission," she said.
Manning is proud to be involved in continuing the 144-year legacy of care established by the Grey Nuns in 1863.
"This site has been an orphanage, a hospital, a farm and a continuing care centre. The Grey Nuns adapted to the needs of the community over time. There is a history here that is very rich," Manning said.
"It's a tremendous honour to, in a small way, walk in the footsteps of the Grey Nuns."
Manning wanted to thank, in particular, the St. Albert Quilters' Guild who have provided a number of quilts for the residents.
"A lot of thought, talent and time was put into them. It was a labour of love and we really appreciate them," Manning said.
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