After opening its doors last July, Points West Living officially opened on Monday, April 28.
Points West residents greeted the guests at the door, and juice and snacks were on offer.
The celebration was kicked off with a variety of speakers, such as Points West Living CEO Doug Mills, Drumheller-Stettler MLA Rick Strankman, associate minister of seniors Dave Quest, Cathy McDonald of Alberta Health Services, and general manager Susan Cameron, among others.
“Points West is a welcome addition to services for seniors in the community of Stettler,” McDonald said. “It provides the right mix of independence and support.”
There are other Points West facilities in Lloydminster, Wainwright, Vegreville, Cold Lake, and Peace River. The organization is also in the process of building facilities in Red Deer and Slave Lake.
Mills estimates that construction on the building began in the winter of 2012 and finished in June of 2013 for the July opening.
Overall, it’s been a very good experience for most people,” he said. “It’s a new facility, their rooms are large, and so there’s lots of space.”
The idea behind Points West is to provide multiple levels of support in one building. More independent seniors have less support, while frailer seniors have more support from staff.
Currently, there are 79 residents and 84 staff members at Points West. The staff includes multi-purpose aides, who help cook and clean for the residents. This way, residents don’t have multiple people coming in to the suite – because that’s not what would happen if they were in their homes.
“They do the serving of the meal like you would at home,” Cameron said. “They do the cleaning, like you would at home.”
And the main tenet of Points West Living is to make it as home-like for the residents as possible.
“I love the philosophy of Points West,” Cameron said. “They embrace the Eden philosophy, where we work in a resident’s home, they don’t live in our workplace. They don’t just talk the talk, they walk the walk as well.”
In her speech, Cameron talked about the “plagues” of seniors, which include boredom and hopelessness. Points West makes it a priority to combat these plagues by reintroducing plants, animals, and children to the residents’ lives.
“It’s recognizing what our residents need,” Cameron said. “Of all the times we say ‘someone’s having behaviours,’ well, that’s an unmet need. And it’s our job to find out what that resident needs, because that eliminates the behaviours.”
“Assisted living doesn’t look like an institution,” she said. “It’s home.”