Residents enjoying live music performed by Ian and Chris Photo Credit Ashley Sloan

At some point in your life, you or your family will make a decision on whether it is time to move to a retirement living lifestyle. Some of the benefits of this lifestyle are knowing that if anything were to happen, there is always someone around to check on you, always someone around for good company, and weekly activities to keep you young at heart. 

Southbridge Kemptville’s newly build long term care facility opened its doors on November 3 to welcome 45 residents into their new home. 

From the moment you pull into the parking lot, it feels like a warm welcoming at a 5 star resort. Entering through the front door, you walk  into a spacious, bright entrance where you are greeted by the health screening team and the amazing front desk receptionist Lori Ann, who is ready and willing to get you connected with who you are there to see. 

I had the great pleasure of a  tour led by Executive Director Gerry Miller and Director of Care Jane Johnson through the three story long term care home, that when at full capacity, will have 160 residents. Both Gerry and Jane explained that it is very important that residents feel at home during this transition.  Around the corner, I could hear a live music performance by Chris and Ian playing their guitars and singing great classic tunes. Their performance had several residents up and dancing, with the biggest smiles on their faces. 

The common areas on the two floors that are currently occupied were bustling with residents watching TV, or having a great chat with their new neighbours. Along the way, Gerry and Jane were able to greet each and every one of the new residents by name. It was heartwarming. 

The three story building contains five residential home areas (RHA). Each RHA has its own nursing station, common area, and spa, and has been named after a flower. When asked how that came about, Gerry replied that a contest was held and residents, staff and families were asked to choose from villages, streets, or flowers; and apparently flowers were a huge hit. The areas are now named  Sunflower, Dahlia, Poppy, Iris, or Carnation.

A lot of care and attention was placed in the design of the facility. The residence has 96 private rooms and 32 double occupancy rooms. Residents can either enjoy a view of the forest, or if they enjoy people watching, a view of people coming in and out of the building. The rooms have a sliding door to enter the washroom, providing  easier access and more living space. They also encourage residents to bring their personal belongings to make it feel like home. 

Having a new facility built means that over 200 staff, who are eager to make their residents feel at home, have the newest equipment to facilitate the care of their residents. The spa room was built with room for a lift chair to assist residents in and out of the tub. 

Each RHA has a dining area with a  beautiful southern view, and is spacious enough to accommodate all mobility devices. Residents can enjoy a meal on their floor without having to change levels. The back of the building also has a balcony overlooking a beautiful yard that offers a walking path for anyone wanting to take a  little stroll in a well secured area.  

This new building also means a lot to local residents who will be able to visit their loved ones more often, without the worry of a long drive in the winter or after dark. 

Since the opening, 79 residents now call Southbridge their home. Over 45 of those residents moved over from Bayfield Manor, and the other residents have come from various other locations. Gerry explained that this process is managed through a third party resource who review the intakes and place them in the home that best suits their needs. 

I was really pleased to hear about a reunification which happened with a couple who had been separated, one residing  in a hospital and the other in a long term care facility. Next week, another couple will also be moving in and happily together again. 

This long term care home has made the lives of many residents easier and safer, and they are excited to be here in North Grenville. 

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