With evident pride, Edgar Arsenault ushered a group of visitors Thursday around the nearly completed new addition of Le Chez-Nous seniors’ home in Wellington.
It was as if Arsenault, the general manager, couldn’t get out the information fast enough.
Pointing to various pieces of equipment he explained their uses and how much they cost.
A huge new tub can handle a person who is bed-bound, a new common area will feature weekly concerts, the new rooms will have multiple safety features, staff will have a new lounge and sleeping area if they are storm-stayed, and on and on.
The new addition to the facility will house 12 new long-term care beds and two community care beds. It’s expected to open in the spring.
Le Chez-Nous is a privately held co-op, so the $1.7 million project is being almost entirely paid for without government funds. It’s an expensive project for a small organization.
“Just one bed is $3,000,” said Arsenault.
To help with some of the costs, namely the equipment the addition will require, a fundraising campaign with a goal of $150,000 has been ongoing.
It got a big boost on Thursday when Royal Canadian Legion Branch 17 in Wellington donated $50,000 toward the cause, which brings the total raised so far up to $120,000.
Albert Hashie, legion branch president, said they routinely make donations to health care organizations in the area and it only made sense to try and help fill that need in their own home community.
“We like to keep our residents in this area instead of going to Summerside or O’Leary or whatever. It’s nice to keep all our residents in this community. They know the people and they feel more comfortable down here than they would if they have to go to Summerside,” said Hashie.
Le Chez-Nous currently houses 47 residents. Taking into account the 12 long-term care beds, two communtiy care beds and one regular residential bed that will be taken away to accomodate the renovations, the total resident population will go up to 60.
Until now, any Le Chez-Nous resident who needed long-term care had to be sent out of the community and that was unfortunate, said Gilles Painchaud, chairman of the fundraising committee.
“They’re the ones who build these communities, so if we can take care of them as they get older and as they need help, then that’s great,” said Painchaud.
Donations to the campaign can still be made directly at Le Chez-Nous office in Wellington or at the Evangeline-Central Credit Union.