An update on Arnprior’s largest-ever construction project

An update on Arnprior’s largest-ever construction project

Coming Home to Great Care

The plan: What we’ve accomplished and what’s still to come

The announcement of the 36 new beds was just the beginning of a long and complex journey towards the redevelopment of the Grove. A lot of hard work is being done on the town’s largest-ever construction project, even before construction actually begins!  We continue to work closely with the provincial Ministry of Health and Long-term Care (MOHLTC) to meet their numerous requirements and ensure we’re building the best possible long-term care facility for our community.

  • environmental site assessment
  • financial review
  • preliminary plan submission to Ministry of Health & Long-term Care (MOHLTC)
  • building design
  • site plan approval
  • tender
  • construction
  • occupancy plan

The cost: Why the community contribution is so important

The approximate construction cost for building the new Grove is $24 million. The total cost of the project will be higher, once additional costs beyond construction are considered. Construction costs also vary with the fluctuating cost of raw materials, such as steel. Because of the way the Ontario government’s contribution is being provided (see below), ARH must cover this up-front total cost of building the Grove, through a combination of debt and fundraising.

The MOHTLC’s contribution comes in the form of the Construction Funding Subsidy. This money will not start to be dispersed until the Grove is operating, at a rate of $18.15 per resident, per day, over the course of 25 years. The Construction Funding Subsidy totals $15.9 million.

The ARH Foundation has committed to raising $4 million towards building the Grove through the Come Home to Great Care campaign. We’re confident that the entire community agrees about the importance of having high-quality long-term care options close to family and friends in the community they know and love. Although ninety-six beds is a good start, it still doesn’t fully meet local demand. This is a big part of the reason that ARH is also focusing on growing its community programs, like the Seniors Active Living Centre, the Assisted Living program and the Adult Day Program, aimed to keep seniors healthier and in their own homes for longer.

The design: A home should feel like a home

Twenty years ago (almost 20 years after the current Grove was designed and built), Resident Home Areas (RHAs) became the foundation for Ontario’s long-term care home design standards. RHAs are smaller, self-contained units within the home that give residents more intimate and familiar living spaces and support staff in providing efficient care to residents.

The new Grove will have three RHAs, each including the bedrooms, the bath and shower rooms, dining area, lounge area and program/activity space for those residents. Each RHA must also include staff work space including the documentation area, therapy space, storage for equipment and supplies and utility spaces.

Standard rooms will consist of a large space separated by a demising wall, effectively creating two bedroom spaces and increasing privacy for each resident. Even in these basic suites, each resident will have his or her own window.

We are currently working with technology consultants to help us identify what up-to-date technology and equipment will be used to improve the resident experience and support resident and staff safety.

Dementia-friendly design

It is well known that the built environment plays a significant role in the expression of anxiety, agitation, wandering or other responsive behaviours in individuals with dementia. While no designated spaces will be built  solely for those with dementia, the facility is being designed with dementia-friendly features in mind that support the unique needs of the whole person beyond custodial and medical needs associated with frailty and impairment.  Some examples of dementia-friendly design meant to minimize agitation and confusion:

  • RHAs are designed so that there are multiple access points to the common spaces, allowing residents to wander through, and if they are participating in a program, have the ability to leave in multiple direction, rather than feeling “trapped”.
  • Floor finishes are selected to avoid glare and careful consideration is given to transitions between two types of flooring so that a resident doesn’t think that there is a step.
  • Wall colours and artwork will function as cueing for wayfinding. The signage will rely heavily on graphics rather than too many words. Signage will be lower than typical height since most residents with dementia tend to look down rather than up.