Residents at Youville Home are benefitting from an expanded and redeveloped multipurpose space, made possible through the incredible generosity of Covenant Foundation donors who gave more than $817,000 to help bring more joy and light, and ensure a better quality of life for continuing-care residents at Youville Home.
“I'm so thankful for the donors that contributed to this space because at the end of the day, what we’re trying to serve is people's minds, bodies and souls,” says Heather MacGillivray, program manager of continuing care at Covenant Health’s Youville Home.
About 233 residents rely on Covenant Health’s long-term care at Youville Home every day. While the majority are older persons with broad and varied long-term care needs, residents have ranged in age from adults in their 20s to people who are more than 100 years old.
As the community of St. Albert has grown and changed, so have the needs of residents at Youville Home. What was originally envisioned as a redeveloped multipurpose room and greenhouse area evolved into creating a more open and accessible multipurpose space for residents, their families and staff to enjoy. The newly redeveloped space features abundant natural light and a larger area for more indoor activities, therapeutic programs, social gatherings and moments of quiet relaxation – 365 days a year.
Images of the main hall and kitchenette in the newly redeveloped multipurpose space.
The redeveloped space is comprised of four main areas – the main hall, plus therapy, volunteer and equipment rooms – and is about 3,100 square feet between the main floor and basement. With 60 per cent more functional area and 80 per cent more natural light, the new space offers an inviting, warm environment with increased visibility that reduces the risk of falls. Equipped with a more accessible kitchenette and upgraded sound system, the main hall enables staff to engage more residents in gatherings and programs ranging from cooking classes to multigenerational concerts.
Accessibility was top-of-mind during the redevelopment to increase safety for residents, visitors and staff with a range of mobility needs. The space was designed to be enjoyed by those who use wheelchairs, walkers, canes or walk unaided.
“The space creates a safe and welcoming environment for our internal and external community,” says Heather. "Youville Home has been very much a part of St. Albert and we have very strong community support, so opening these doors will open up to the community again.”
A home full of laughter and liveliness, many residents and their families spend time together at Youville Home visiting, playing games and enjoying activities that provide meaning and quality of life, now in a larger and more inviting space.
On July 20, 2022, residents, family, staff and other guests took part in a grand opening of the space. The event featured a blessing and ribbon-cutting ceremony, and was followed by tours of the upgraded space for residents and their loved ones.
Blanche Gau, a long-time resident of Youville Home, is excited to see the multipurpose space come to life: “It is wonderful! We have things going on and everybody can be there. We meet people who otherwise we wouldn’t. It’s very enjoyable.”
Blanche participates in various activities alongside her fellow residents in the new multipurpose space including special events and celebrations, exercise sessions, a coffee club and fun games such as bingo and carpet bowling.
Youville Home resident Blanche Gau cuts the ribbon during the grand-opening ceremony on July 20, 2022.
The multipurpose space now allows for other evolving programs and therapies featuring music, art, gardening, and programming that includes the children from the SIGIS daycare, located within Youville Home.
Heather acknowledges the project would not have been possible without the support of the foundation and its donors. Community members from St. Albert and beyond gave in unique and meaningful ways – from a tremendous $500,000 anonymous gift, to generous support from the City of St. Albert, individual and corporate gifts, donations in memory of loved ones, and support for the foundation’s calendar sales and golf tournament.
“Donors’ relentless support to our site is profound and it allows us to provide the quality care we do,” explains Heather. “It allows us to offer experiences to our residents, to our families, and to our staff. It shows that we care. I'm so thankful for this space that we have. I thank these supporters from the bottom of my heart for their kind, generous donations.”
With the exciting opportunities provided by the new multipurpose space, Youville Home staff can continue to innovate and prioritize addressing the wide-ranging health, mental wellness and recreation needs of residents, which are essential to their care and enhancing their quality of life.
“When I walk into that space, I see options,” says Heather. “I see opportunity.”
Written by: Tara Joyce
To learn more about the Youville Home Multipurpose Space project, please visit our project page.