Noticing neighbourhoods in new lodge

·2 min read

Wheatland Housing Management Board’s new seniors living facility could feature an innovative floorplan providing residents with unique neighbourhoods in which to reside.

The five-part engagement program conducted by Berry Architecture + Associates for the new seniors living facility to replace Wheatland Lodge in Strathmore has been ongoing. The third session, held on Oct. 22, focused on possible floor designs of the structure, determined by the arrangement of resident suites.

The way senior living facilities are designed is changing, said Isaac Martinez, senior architect with Berry Architecture.

“We’re striving to change the perception of long-term care facilities and assisted living, from being institutional and hospital-like, to small homes where intentional communities are developed and high levels of care are offered,” he said.

One shift is using the term “neighbourhoods” to describe groups of resident suites. “This term really aligns with the person-centred care model,” said Martinez.

There are endless ways to arrange a neighbourhood and the building’s overall shape, but there are constraints, such as the site and the project budget.

The first neighbourhood plan shown features a double corridor, meaning rooms are on both sides of a hallway. Lodges with this configuration typically have central and large common spaces, such as dining rooms. This arrangement has been common in older designs and is “budget-driven,” noted Martinez.

The second plan features a central space surrounded by a grouping of resident suites, requiring more space. This design, preferred by all participants, could provide more options for intimate spaces for family and friends, and for dining spaces to have access to snacks and flexible mealtimes – both of which participants in earlier sessions said they wanted.

The next engagement session, held on Oct 29, focuses on the facility’s hospice, which is being provided in partnership with the Wheatland and Area Hospice Society. The fifth and final session will be held on Nov. 5.

Sean Feagan, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Strathmore Times