A project that was several years in the making is finally complete and will improve the care of residents of long term care (LTC) at the Ponoka Hospital and Care Centre.
The LTC tub room has now been renovated to have a new specialty bath tub and shower along with a more comfortable room with radiant heat and space for proper storage of supplies. The old room had aged equipment and limited privacy in the shower area.
The project, which cost about $200,000, was made possible through the fundraising efforts of the Ponoka and District Health Foundation (PDHF) and its partner the Ponoka Hospital Ladies Auxiliary.
“We have been waiting a long time for this to be done. It is so nice and beautiful,” said hospital representatives Carol Wild, area manager, and Amanda Isaac, LTC manager in a provided response.
“The residents enjoy the atmosphere of the room as well as the improvements of the space and how it is now being utilized. They are so happy to be able to use the new tub room and the staff love the increased functionality of the entire area.”
All residents are required and entitled under the Canadian Continuing Care Health Standards (CCCHS) to receive a bath or shower once a week and to be offered a second shower or tub bath every week.
“We did not have a shower prior to this renovation. Now we can provide a choice to each resident and the staff have both options available in order to provide a better and resident centered care choice.
“As the next generation become residents it is even more important to have a shower option.”
Two partial walls were removed, making the space feel more open.
The choices of colour, lighting and upgrades to heating lamps were made to make the atmosphere of the tub room as close to a spa as possible.
The Ladies auxiliary also supported the LTC in paying for a new stainless steel cabinet (due next month) to house the personal toilet items for each resident safely and securely in the tub room.
A warming cabinet for towels and flannel covers has been stocked and organized and shower curtains will be installed soon.
As residents receive their bath or shower, staff can now wash their personal wheelchair for cleanliness, safety and comfort purposes.
The non-skid safety floor also decreases the risk of falls for both staff and residents. The floors were also redone to improve drainage.
Improvements began two years ago with the installation of the new tub, purchased by the Ponoka Ladies Auxiliary and PDHF. The complete renovation started in November, 2020 and was completed on Jan. 4, 2021.
An update to the current tub was first suggested in 2015 as an aesthetic and functional update. The request evolved to a spa design which initially was not thought to be affordable.
According to Wild and Isaac, the original project approved by the foundation in 2017 was a cosmetic and functional change of the walls in the tub room and the purchase of the new tub.
The 2017 Ponoka Festival of Trees was dedicated to raising funds this project.
An increase in scope was requested of the foundation in 2018 to a complete renovation of the tub room including upgrades to lighting and heating, floor and wall coverings, re-installation of a shower and converting a space into a wheelchair washing area.
This was approved by the foundation and further funds were allocated in 2019 to complete the enhanced scope of the project.
Connect Care construction in AHS, and later COVID-19, delayed the start and finish of the renovation.
AHS Planning and Projects, the site and other related departments worked with the Minister of Health to approve construction under new guidelines during the pandemic.
Originally estimated at $215,000, the project total came in under budget, as it was originally thought asbestos removal may be necessary, but none was present.
“Continued support from the Ponoka and District Health Foundation, the Ponoka Hospital Ladies Auxiliary and of course the generosity of the community has realized this dream.”