Hill Top Home of Comfort will provide an even safer environment for people who have special needs such as dementia when the current renovations are completed this spring, according to Gerry Leadbetter, administrator at the home.
Leadbetter said an underused wing is being renovated to provide a secured area for those with special needs, including memory care. Plans call for a 14-bed unit with both single and double rooms, as well as a separate dining area and lounge area.
The lounge and dining area will occupy a portion of what is now the fireside lounge and will offer access to an enclosed patio that will be available to the special needs residents during the summer months.
The fireside lounge will be shifted slightly, but will still provide an attractive, comfortable gathering place for other residents and their families. The fireplace that is in the lounge will be replaced by one that meets building codes as part of the project.
Also included in the project is an end-of-life room that will allow more privacy for residents and family members during the final days of life. Located near the chapel, this room will be furnished with couches and chairs for family members.
While the renovation will add more rooms, the resident count will only go up by two, Leadbetter said, explaining that more single-occupancy rooms will soon be available to other residents. “We get asked for these often,” he said.
The home, which celebrated its 25th anniversary in November, will be a 52-bed facility when the renovation is completed.
Leadbetter said the special needs beds could be filled by residents already in the home, which will open up other beds to those who need them.
The estimated cost of the project is $375,000, according to Leadbetter, who added that much of the work, such as painting and installing new windows, is being done by staff to cut down on expenses. Professionals will be hired to install the new wood-look floor covering in the rooms and the carpet in the halls. Electricians and plumbers will also be hired to do specialty work.
To help pay for the renovation, Hill Top Heritage Foundation began a capital campaign in late November. According to foundation director Fayleen Fishcer, appeal letters were sent to some potential donors at that time. “We have had a good response so far,” she said. “But we still have a way to go to reach the goal!”
Fischer said that anyone who donates $10,000, which is the cost of renovating a room, can have a plaque placed near the door in honor or in memory of someone. “We have a few of these donations in already, but more are available,” she said.
Of course, donations of any amount are appreciated, and a list of needs for the unit includes furniture for the lounge and dining areas with special covering that are both attractive and easy to clean and televisions for each room. The foundation is a 501(c)(3), so donations are tax deductible.
Anyone who is interested in contributing any amount to the project or who has questions about the renovation is asked to contact either Fischer or Leadbetter at the home.