MAGRATH - A new state of the art seniors lodge, known as the new Diamond Willow Lodge, officially opened its doors on Tuesday, Feb. 20 in Magrath.
The facility is part of the effort both the federal and provincial governments are putting into making lives better for seniors in Magrath and the surrounding communities.
Kim Schnoor, Chinook Foundation Chief Administrative Officer, says it's important for the well-being of their seniors that they have the opportunity to live in the community of their choice.
"This project has been a couple of years in the making with construction taking place. The old facility had some of the traditional very small rooms, so we were lacking space, but this new lodge represents a tremendous stride forward," Schnoor said.
The capacity at Diamond Willow is increasing from 39 units to 43, to offer increased flexibility to seniors in the level of care they can access while allowing them to remain close to their families and communities.
Schnoor says the bachelor suites, the one-bedroom units that they have now, are going to provide significant improvements in space and on top of that they have great amenities around the lodge now too.
"The design of the building is very warm and welcoming, from the entry area right on through to the lounge. We've got a pool table, electronic dart boards, our baby grand pianos that we'll be inviting the community to come in and use," Schnoor added.
Through the whole process of replacing the original seniors lodge with the new facility, Schnoor recognized he needed to put himself in the shoes of a senior who's looking for accommodations outside of their own home.
"Our goal all the way along has been to provide furnishings and an environment that is equal, or in some cases better, than what they're used to," Schnoor said.
The announcement was part of the combined 10.7 million invested by the federal and provincial governments under the Investment in Affordable Housing 2014-2019 Agreement.
Lori Sigurdson, the Minister of Alberta Seniors and Housing, was one of the dignitaries on hand for the announcement and says this investment for Magrath supports seniors to age in their community, close to their family and friends.
"This facility has a number of one-bedroom units, which means it's great for couples and it's larger than the previous facility," she continued. "It's so bright, warm, and welcoming in here which is going to make a big difference for the seniors that will be living at the lodge."
Sigurdson says the facility is built for today, which has been one of the focuses for our government.
"These people have deep connections in their communities, so we're so pleased to make this investment in Magrath to make sure they'll be able to stay."
The lodge will be accepting new seniors pretty soon according to Sigurdson, who noted there's still some more final touches that need to be completed.
"The previous lodge is still operating so no one's displaced. The residents who are living there will be moving soon, probably in the next month of so," Sigurdson said.
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