Providing more than care: Suite dreams for Maimonides residents

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Maimonides Geriatric Centre in Montreal, Quebec just completed the renovation of all 255 private and 66 semi-private resident rooms as part of the Suite Dreams Capital Renovation Campaign. This 7 million dollar project was entirely paid for by donor dollars thanks to the Maimonides Foundation.

The renovations include dramatic changes to furniture, lighting, flooring, closets, bathrooms and other critical areas. Many advances in geriatric furnishings have occurred since the 1960’s when Maimonides was originally built. The Suite Dreams Campaign enables our residents to enjoy the simple things we take for granted. For example, those in wheelchairs are now able to see themselves in the new angled bathroom mirrors- a seemingly minor detail with a major impact on self-worth. Shelving has also been brought to a comfortable level that is within reach for all residents and grab bars have been installed to make it easier for staff and residents.

“The Suite Dreams renovation really makes Maimonides look and feel like our residents home. The environment is secure and welcoming not only to residents but to their families and the staff. We are so appreciative to the Foundation for giving our residents sweet dreams,” says Lucie Tremblay, Director of Nursing and Clinical Services.

Top professionals in the field of long term health-care facilities were enlisted to design this project. Safety was a prime concern of the renovations. It is also important to take into consideration the needs of those with dementia and other cognitive difficulties. Residents with visual and mobility impairment now move about more safely on new state-of-the-art organic flooring called “marmoleum” featuring subtle muted shades and a matte finish along with infection-fighting properties. The strategic placement of contrasting colours allows residents to perceive depth and clearly identify their rooms. Lighting fixtures contribute to the creation of a home-like environment in hallways and in the individual rooms. Lighting systems can also be controlled to adjust ambience according to the time of day and level of activity. The lighting also helps prevent falls as many residents have poor eyesight.

“I love my new room,” says Roberta Adelman in a taped testimonial that is featured on the suite dreams website. The furniture is modern-looking and it’s really special. It’s almost like I am going back home,” she adds.

Physical challenges, behavioural changes and a reduction in cognitive abilities require our residents to have custom-designed furniture that includes dressers and side tables with protective rounded edges. New drawers and closets are equipped with rollers for ease of opening and have handles that are easy to manipulate. New armchairs are covered in a specialized health-care fabric to provide maximum protection and which feature increased lumbar support. Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia can adversely affect a person’s sleeping pattern. Window treatments with blackout blinds give residents the opportunity to sleep comfortably at any time and conform to the highest standards for infection control.

Residents whose rooms were being worked on were moved for the duration of their room renovation into one of two solariums which had been temporarily converted into semi-private rooms for three. The permanent staff was particularly attentive to the changes in residents’ behaviour during the transition and an extra staff member was employed and paid for by campaign funds, to ensure that any disruption to the residents’ lives was kept at a minimum.

The renovation of the small chapel, multi-purpose room, activity rooms and dining rooms will be completed in the coming months. Plans for the multi-purpose room include comfy couches, a fireplace and a magazine/education station for visitors.

Maimonides has established a close collaboration with the Art for Healing Foundation. This non-profit organization is committed to providing original works of art to health-care facilities in order to create a healing environment. Over 300 works of art have been installed at Maimonides and complete the Suite Dreams transformation.

The Maimonides Foundation continues to install recognition plaques outside rooms which have been sponsored. A special unveiling ceremony and reception is held to honour each of the Suite Dream room sponsors.

The Suite Dreams Campaign gives the 387 residents in our long-term care facility an improved quality of life in an environment that promotes dignity and self-worth. For more information on this project, please visit www.suitedreamscampaign.net or contact Lisa Blobstein, Communications Officer at 514-483-2121 ext 2258.