MASTERPIECE SOUTHLAND MEADOWS
Medicine Hat, Alberta
The Parti of the Building
Masterpiece Southland Meadows is designed with an entry courtyard open to the west which will allow for guests to understand the building and their environment very clearly from the time of their first arrival. The entrance is punctuated with a Port-Cochère/canopy which also acts as a landmark around which the entire facility is subliminally and visually oriented. The central, axial entrance leads into an amenity zone which is also clearly understood upon arrival as the amenities spaces are neatly configured along the west wall of the upper-level amenity core. The space overlooks the grand hall which features the primary sitting/visiting and interaction spaces on the lower level of the two-story space below. This amenity area will provide an optimized environment for Independent Living Residents to engage their memory challenged spouses or simply to enjoy as part of their living experience.
On the north side of this open amenity environment is access to the care environment on each respective floor.
The west side of the lower floor houses the parking environment which is contiguous with shipping and receiving as well as resident storage, the laundry, the kitchen and other ancillary and support spaces. This configuration makes the back of the house transparent to the residents and the user groups since it is so discreetly managed behind the scenes.
Located above the central wing is the Independent Living which affords the spouse of a memory-challenged resident the opportunity of living in close proximity to their partner.
Household Living Environments
Masterpiece has developed a concept for living appropriate to the needs of residents who require higher levels of care, including the memory-challenged. By developing households that are limited in scale with dedicated, decentralized living and dining facilities, the needs of the residents are specifically met. It has been demonstrated that the Alzheimer resident requires a close-knit family environment that is exceedingly familiar in order to have the required level of comfort.
The design that has brought the "back of house" environment together at the central core where all four quadrants meet allows for the cross pollination of staff between quadrants and households. This results in Personnel Translation Efficiencies so that staff can readily respond to nurse call in any quadrant. By shortening travel distances and increasing response opportunities the staff will now have adequate time and energy to invest not only in the physical needs of their residents but also in the social, psychological, and spiritual well-being of each and every individual.
Way-finding consists of the provision of visual and sensory queues which allow individuals to navigate the built environment as fluidly and effectively as possible. This criterion is especially important in the world of memory care where a readily understood environment can mitigate anxiety associated with orientation for the residents who cannot easily adapt to complicated environments.
In order to allow residents within the Masterpiece project to achieve orientation in their environment, the Southland Meadows project has been designed with four quadrants, each of which reflect different geographical areas. In the northwest quadrant, the walls and environment reflect the South Saskatchewan River and large murals featuring this environment further clarify this concept. This also establishes a colour palette which assists as a wayfinding mechanism. In the northeast corner, the interior design features the City of Medicine Hat Central Business District. Since the brick red is a primary feature in this district this becomes one of the basic colours for this quadrant. Typical for all quadrants is flooring coloration that matches the theme. This flooring becomes fragmented in front of the amenity environments announcing their presence to the residence as they navigate the corridors. To the southwest is the Cypress Hills with its verdant colour palette, and to the southeast is the Prairie Theme with a harvest wheat colour scheme. In each instance, the compass coordinates can be subliminally recognized in this interior design concept. Where the quadrants coalesce between the four respective environments the colour scheme is carried into each quadrant respectively. This further facilitates wayfinding for the residents ensuring that they have the comfort of knowing they are in their dedicated household.
Masterpiece recognizes that seniors tend to navigate their environments in a stooped body posture. In light of this consideration, the floor becomes an exceedingly important element in the context of way-finding. The directional patterns and identifiable colour transitions incorporated through the interior design theme assist seniors in navigating their environment to their destination.
Additional concepts for way-finding include memory shelves and a place for memory-care art and other similar identifiers in the vicinity of the resident’s suite doors. These allow residents to personalize their entrance environment and subsequently recognize when they have arrived at the door of their suite. This offers the comfort and security afforded through place recognition. Vertical light strips which illuminate these entrance environments further facilitate way-finding through announcing the entrance environment and also illuminate the memory care art and the memory shelves that are located in this vicinity.
All of these noted concepts foster Memory Care through interior design. To further augment the memory care for the resident’s memory, walls are incorporated utilizing short throw projectors which illuminate an entire wall providing all of the pertinent data that that residence requires to stay informed and oriented. The projected images will provide a living and active memory wall which will feature time of day, weather conditions including visual simulations that help clarify the conditions to the residents, and will also announce holidays, birthdays and other life events.
As we age the need for environments without physical obstacles increases. Masterpiece Southland Meadows is designed to be barrier-free in every respect and this greatly enhances the freedom that the residents experience as they live in their new home environment. This concept of barrier-free extends beyond the basic needs of the disabled to the much more detailed and complicated universal design considerations such as providing sightlines from the bed to the washroom fixtures ensuring that the memory-challenged can effectively find their way to facilities in a timely manner.
Care Level Options
Masterpiece Southland Meadows provides a continuum of care to its residents. This ensures that clients with an infirm spouse can live in an independent suite, enjoying all of the relational rewards of marriage without being taxed through the burdens of caregiving. It has been statistically demonstrated that individuals who are burdened with caregiving often fall ill and infirm as a result of the added stress and burden on their lives. The provision of multi-level care at Masterpiece Southland Meadows sustains relationships in perpetuity.
With all of these way-finding and care providing strategies which are at the leading edge of the industry Masterpiece Southland Meadows will provide a state of the art environment for many years to come.