Almost finished at Pioneer

By Geoff Lee

June 15, 2017 12:00 AM

NEAR COMPLETION Pioneer Lodge administrator, Joy Bell, left, jokes with 98 year-old resident Emilie Daus during a tour of the new level 4 care wing at Pioneer House on June 7. Pushing Daus's wheelchair is her son in-law Clayton Sarasin with his wife Maria on his left. GEOFF LEE LLS PHOTO

Home sweet home.
That’s what the new 44-bed Pioneer House is designed to look and feel like for its level 4 care senior residents.
“We’re very pleased with the construction, the way it’s laid out,” said Larry Sauer, chair of the facility Pioneer Lodge board.
“The clients that come in will find that it’s a very homelike atmosphere.”
Dozens of seniors and families looking at housing an elder relative at Pioneer House were treated to guided tours of one almost finished wing on June 7.
Impressed by what she saw was Diane Cayford, who was checking out the rooms and amenities for an uncle of hers.
“It’s really a nice building; the rooms are big —lots of room for bringing in your own furniture,” she said.
Each of the rooms is 350 sq. ft. equipped with a bed, dresser and night stand, with plenty of space for a microwave and bar fridge.
The rooms also feature spacious bathrooms with walk-in showers.
Joy Bell, the facility administrator, said the event was extra sweet since it was held during the middle of seniors week in Alberta.
“The timing lent itself well when we could give a sneak peak to the community that supported us so well,” she said.
Bell said the new wing means area seniors won’t have to leave their community if they need a higher level of care in the supportive living facility.
“That was the whole goal of the Pioneer Lodge board when they first started of thinking of this,” she said.
Bell cautioned there will be a waiting list for the level 4 care home based on need.
A grand opening will be held in September when the finishing touches are completed.
One of the first residents who will move into the facility from the adjacent Pioneer House is 98-year-old resident, Emilie Daus.
Showing her the new rooms was her daughter, Darlene Morrison who said her mom is thrilled she can move next door to where she is now.
“Her mobility has gone down in the last few months, so it’s great that she just gets to move next door and be will all her friends,”  she said.
Morrison declared Pioneer House to be homelike for her mom following her tour with other family members in tow.
“It’s very beautiful, very accommodating and the seniors deserve something like this,” she said.
She also let on she bought several $1,000 fundraising bricks to help raise the balance of a $2 million fundraising goal, to match an Alberta government qualifying grant of the same amount.
The total cost of the building is $16 million, with the $2 million grant.
The fundraising is being led by the Lloydminster Region Health Foundation through the sale of bricks, leaves, and facility sponsorships and donations.
Laurie Bowman drove from Dewberry to check out the facility as a care option for her ailing 71 year-old mother who lives in Eatonia, SK.
“She needs some extra help with her day-to-day tasks, so we thought maybe we’d check out Lloydminster,” said Bowman.
“We’ve been looking at a lot of facilities in the area.”
What impressed Bowman was the comparatively larger rooms, bathrooms, and storage space than in the existing Pioneer Lodge, and she thinks her mom would like it.
“She can’t travel that far right now, but I will probably be bringing in my family to take a look at it,” she said for their recommendations.

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