Two years after building the first residence in the Kitchener-Waterloo region specifically for people with Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias, Highview Residences has built a second. And they’re inviting the public to visit during a Community Open House.
The doors of the new Cedar Creek home, located at 20-C Reichert Drive in Kitchener, will be open to the public from 7 am to 4 pm on Thursday, October 24.
“It really is one of the best options for dementia care that we have in our region,” said Michelle Martin, Executive Director of the Alzheimer Society of Waterloo-Wellington. Because of Highview’s special person-centred approach to care, residents feel like they’re at home. And that takes a huge load off their families.
The home is small, warm, and inviting. Only 28 residents will live at Cedar Creek, which is divided into two cottages with a private bedroom and bathroom for each resident.
Life at Highview doesn’t follow a standard schedule for everyone. Residents can wake up, have breakfast, and get dressed when they’re used to. They can choose to take a walk in Highview’s secure gardens, watch a favourite TV show, enjoy art or music, or help out in the home.
In November 2017, Jane Klugman, President at Whitney & Company Realty Limited, moved her mom into Blair Creek Village, Highview’s first home in Kitchener. “It’s been great for all of us,” Jane said. “We know our Mom is getting amazing care. We get regular reports that are very detailed. The whole team at Highview is very welcoming, and I know my mom is well looked after. In fact, she is more than well looked after. We’re thrilled.”
“We help families make the transition of moving their loved one from their current home to a new home, one that has been designed to help make their lives easier and enable their independence,” says Joy Birch, Chief Operating Officer of Highview Residences. “Our approach is to help our residents navigate their day, with a guiding hand and love, encouraging them to do as much as they can. We support them when and how they need it, specific to their interests and life-story.”
Highview provides a failure-free environment, according to Activation Coordinator Kait Carnegie. Part of her role is to get to know each person’s interests and abilities. “If someone wants to help bake, that’s great. But if they simply want to sit, have a cup of tea, or share recipes, that’s okay too.”
“My main goal every day is to put a smile on someone’s face,” she said. “It’s to make sure that every day our residents wake up feeling loved and cared for.”
“Staff care deeply about what matters to the residents,” said Mary Pat Hinton, CEO of Emmetros, the creator of MemorySparx Connect, an innovative app that Highview uses to enhance its person-centred approach. The app connects people who are part of each resident’s care team, including family members. It allows family to easily and securely share important personal life details and preferences of their loved one, share and receive daily updates, and chat with the people on the care team at Highview. The app helps residents stay connected with their families when they’re not be able to visit.
Building design is also key to Highview’s specialized care. In addition to being small and welcoming, the home has many dementia design features, including short hallways, calming colours, and clear sightlines. Both cottages have an enclosed garden with a figure-of-eight path to always bring the resident back home. All the wood furniture in the residence was sourced locally and is specifically designed to be appropriate for dementia care. The sights, sounds, and smells of home-cooking in the open-concept kitchen help with sensory cueing.
As much as the home is a nurturing setting, security is always a priority. The buildings have been designed to keep residents safe. Staff members are present at all times, day and night, and the home is fully secured.