The Elizabeth adding 11 extra rooms, day care

HUMBOLDT — A local retirement home is planning two expansions: one for seniors and one for children.

The Elizabeth is planning to open up 11 care rooms to go along with its 29 independent living suites and build a new 49-child care centre.

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The 11 care rooms are all ready.

“We got our license the beginning of May for the care homes,” said Leah Bornhorst, The Elizabeth’s director of personal care. “We have 11 care rooms and we are hoping to start the beginning of July.”

The rooms are aimed for seniors that could require assistance with hygiene and grooming, and may need some supervision from medical professionals like nurses.

Corinne Norman, The Elizabeth’s general manager, said they’ll help with meal preparation, medication, light housekeeping, laundry and transfer assistance. The residents will also be able to take advantage of the home’s Red Seal chef-cooked meals and services provided by their lifestyle co-ordinator.

“Their activities would be integrated with the residents with the independent suites but modified so that they could easily participate,” Norman said.

Each room has an ensuite, and there is a common walk-in bathtub, walk-in shower, laundry room and a whirlpool.

The child care centre will be added to The Elizabeth’s west wing. Construction is expected to start in August. It is expected to open early in the new year.

Norman said the centre is licensed for 21 toddlers and preschoolers, and they applying for an additional 19. There are also plans for three infants.

The centre will be run by the Humboldt Public School Child Care Centre.

“We will be receiving the funding. Once the building is built, we will be the ones to furnish it, staff it,” said Kaitlyn Wickenhauser, the assistant director of the HPS centre. “It will be run under our parent board, so it'll just be like a sister center to our already existing center.”

The assistant director said they’ll be able to share services and equipment between the two centres once the one at The Elizabeth has been built.

Norman said the centre is important for the senior home to meet the Eden Alternative philosophy it follows. The philosophy states that children, nature and animals stimulate the residents living in the retirement home.

“There are moments you walk in the room and they see young children and they're smiling, they see animals, they go right to the animal to pet it,” she said.

“When you when you have that around you, the benefits for the child, for the senior, for the home in general is huge because it's a win-win situation for everyone.”

The children and seniors will be encouraged to mix.

“They'll be working hand in hand,” Norman said. “Our lifestyle co-ordinator will be working hand-in-hand with the daycare so joint programs and initiatives could happen.”

Wickenhauser said there is also a demand for child care spaces within Humboldt.

“We can say we do have an extensive waitlist of families that are in need of high quality childcare.”

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