Construction of a new home – the Alexander Pavilion – for people with Alzheimer’s Disease (AD) and other dementias is underway at St. Peter’s Hospital in Hamilton.
In approximately 18 months, current and future patients of the hospital’s Behavioural Health program will be able to move into a modern building designed to meet their special health care needs.
Currently, there are over 10,000 individuals in Hamilton and Halton with some form of dementia and this number is expected to rise as the average age of the population and the number of people with lifelong illness increases.
Founded in 1890, St. Peter’s has a long history of excellence in caring for adults with a chronic illness and over 70 years of specialized expertise in caring for people with AD and dementia. A safe and comfortable environment will greatly enhance their quality of life and result in even better clinical outcomes.
On June 15, 2007, the community came together to celebrate the official groundbreaking of this highly anticipated project. Efforts to replace the existing 1930’s South Wing building which now houses the Behavioural Health program have been ongoing for over 20 years.
“People with Alzheimer’s and other dementias in our community have a right to be cared for in a setting that is conducive to meeting their physical, emotional, spiritual and social needs. I am very proud of our history in caring for behavioural health patients. Now I look forward to the multitude of opportunities that will be created when the Alexander Pavilion opens,” says Donna Cripps, St. Peter’s President and CEO. “We are extremely thankful to the provincial government and in particular, Minister George Smitherman, and Minister Marie Bountrogianni, MPP for Hamilton Mountain, for recognizing and supporting this critical project.”
In December 2005, the government provided St. Peter’s with a Health Infrastructure Renewal Fund grant of more than $1.3 million to support mechanical, electrical, boiler and other upgrades at the hospital.
“Most importantly, I would like to express my heartfelt appreciation to everyone who has contributed to this remarkable achievement in some way – our staff whose caring hearts and capable hands enhance the lives of our patients everyday and the members of our community who have contributed to this cause,” Cripps adds.
The Pavilion is named in recognition of the Honourable Lincoln M. Alexander and in memory of his wife Yvonne at the request of major donors Margaret and Charles Juravinski. Their gift of $5 million – the largest in St. Peter’s history – helped move the project forward.
The Alexander Pavilion project includes the addition of a new floor above the existing East Wing of the hospital, renovations to the main level to accommodate expanding research and education activities, and upgrades to existing rehabilitation areas.
Some of the amenities the Pavilion will be equipped with include:
- Specialized lighting and flooring
- Outdoor comfort gardens
- Cozy domestic kitchenettes
- Family areas
- Dining rooms
- Interactive, tactile artwork
- Spa-like bathing areas
- Figure-eight pathways
- Wireless communication system to support fast patient response times and a quieter environment
Most importantly, coupled with years of immeasurable experience and knowledge of staff in this area of specialty care, the Pavilion will allow patients to live with grace and dignity in a time and place that brings them joy.