Hill View Manor converts five units assisted living – Estevan Mercury

Hill View Manor is looking to welcome a different type of resident.

The personal care home opened in Estevan in 2002, providing a home to its residents. Its 40 units are divided into four separate pods of four, allowing for lots of interaction among those who call Hill View Home.

Thirty-five of its units are currently occupied, and now Hill View wants to have assisted living for those other five suites.

Manager Eunice Massett said those who reside in the assisted living sites should be able to bathe themselves independently. They would be able to access the walk-in tubs and showers at the lodge, unless they have a shower in their room.

They would be responsible for their own laundry and bedding, but can use the manor’s washing machines and driers. And they’re responsible for getting their own medication ordered and picked up, and booking doctor appointments.

“With this assisted living, there’s no medical. But if I see one of them that’s got a cold or a fever or something, as a nurse, I’m not just going to walk past them. I’m going to help them as much as I can,” said Massett.

Assisted living residents would also have to supply their own furniture.

But they would have full access to weekly housekeeping, recreation activities, all of the meals and snacks, the kitchen, the library and hair salon, although they would have to book hair appointments with stylist Joyce Halladay, who comes in each week.

“If in time that person’s care needs increase – they need full care, they need the medical – then they can just transition over to that care. It would be more money for them, but at least they’re here and settled,” said Massett.

A move can be very difficult on an elderly person, so the less moving a senior citizen has to do, the better it is.

“Especially when they leave the first home and come into a place like this, you’re moving in with 40 strangers,” said Massett. “You get to know them after, and some of them you may already know, but you’re grieving your home, your chesterfield, your favourite dishes … and your independence. You’re leaving that behind. It’s a really, really hard process.”

She is proud of how the residents handle the move, because they accept they need to be there, and they’re strong and brave.

“They just impress me, that generation,” said Massett.

Some of their residences are double-suites for couples.

“The double suites are beautiful. They have two great big rooms and a huge walk-in closet and a full bathroom. So they’re a beautiful suite. And they’re much in demand,” she said.

The end suites, which over a view of the valley, are also a little bit larger.

The five units for assisted living will be spread out throughout the building, rather than in one pod. And even if a resident is in the manor’s House No. 1, they can go to House 4 and visit.

The rooms that will be used for assisted living won’t be physically changed; the manor’s staff just has to change their method of care.

Massett noted that the COVID-19 pandemic has affected the manor. When a resident moves out or dies, and the manor approaches someone on their wait list, that person often isn’t ready to move in.

“I think a lot of it is that they’re afraid to come in and have us be shut down again. I don’t blame them,” said Massett. “It’s been a horrendous year and a half. These poor residents. They suffered without seeing their children.”

Since it costs less money to be in assisted living, it might encourage people to move in.

The people who are moving into assisted living are also likely in a younger age group than those living at the manor now, so Massett believes it would add to activities such as cribbage, and be fun to have them there because they’re younger.

“There’s maybe just 10 years difference, but it makes a lot of difference in what their capabilities are, and how to interact and socialize,” she said.

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