The Marleau /Wyant Residence
Warm colours, the smell of chocolate chip cookies baking and a greeting from Vinny, the residents’ beloved dog, are the first impression you get when you arrive at the Marleau/Wyant Residence at Sherbrooke Community Centre. The Marleau/Wyant Residence is named for Dr. Gordon Wyant a long standing Board Chairperson and member and Ed Marleau, Sherbrooke’s first CEO. This four storey building on the south side of Sherbrooke’s nine-acre property opened in 1993 replacing the Maples Wing that was built in the early 1970’s.
Each of the four floors in the Marleau/Wyant Residence has two distinct neighbourhoods, one on the east side and one on the west. Twenty residents live in each neighbourhood. Each resident has their own bedroom with private bathrooms which are separated from the common areas in order to provide privacy and dignity for residents. In addition, there are assisted bathing areas with tubs and wheel-in showers. The bedrooms are spacious with opening windows, a pleasant view to the outside, a closet and built in dresser. Residents are encouraged to bring their own things when they move in to make their space “home”. Families often decorate the bedrooms according to the tastes of their family member. When families are not involved, Sherbrooke staff and volunteers are happy to do some decorating with lots of input from the resident. The neighbourhoods share an activity kitchen and a communication room where charts and medications are located.
Each of the 8 neighbourhoods in the Marleau/Wyant Residence is unique and reflects the personalities and style of those who live there. All neighbourhoods were named by the people living and working in the area. Sunshine Lane has a vibrant eggplant and cream colour scheme, Sunrise Boulevard is a cheery yellow and green while Prairie Lane is painted different shades of rose. Each neighbourhood is home to a unique population. On 1st floor, Reminiscent Way is a secure neighbourhood for residents with cognitive impairment and Treasure Garden is a neighbourhood for residents who are mentally challenged. Second floor has two secure neighbourhoods, Paradise Cove and Prairie Lane, for residents with cognitive impairment. Residents living in Sunrise Boulevard and Blue Bird Lane (3rd floor) and Sunshine Lane and Varsity View (4th floor) include a population of frail elderly and individuals of varied ages with a range of disabilities. All residents require a heavy level of care.
Neighbourhoods in the Marleau/Wyant Residence continually strive to create a human habitat that includes pets, plants and children and provides opportunities for residents to care for living things. They also work to provide the variety and spontaneity and opportunities for companionship that makes life worth living. Residents, families and staff work together to make decisions about their neighbourhood. The staff team consists of registered nurses, licensed practical nurses,special care aides and support staff including a padre/minister, music therapist, occupational and physical therapy staff, recreation staff, community clerk, food services, laundry, housekeeping and maintenance staff. The neighbourhoods have permanent/consistent staff in order to foster relationships. There are two quality of life managers who advocate for residents in the Marleau/Wyant Residence - their role is to ensure that residents quality of life is central to our service.
Pets are a big part of providing spontaneity and variety and give residents opportunities to care for animals that bring them love and acceptance. If you look closely you might even see a bird on a staff’s shoulder as she works with residents in the neighbourhood. Many of the neighbourhoods have birds and there the Reminiscent Way and Prairie Lane neighbourhoods each have a dog. Blue Bird Lane and Treasure Garden have cats and some of the neighbourhoods have aquariums. In addition, some staff bring their pets to work so that residents can watch them play or pet and “fuss” over them.
Each neighbourhood includes a dining room so that small groups of residents, can enjoy the fellowship that comes with sharing a meal. All meals are served restaurant-style (i.e. no trays are used) to create a more normal environment and more pleasant dining experience. There is an activity kitchen on each floor enabling residents and their families to share special meals, birthdays and other important occasions. We also offer “relaxed breakfast” right in the neighbourhood so that residents can get up when they choose in the morning and enjoy a muffin and fruit or a more substantial hot home cooked breakfast.
The reminiscence room on Reminiscent Way gives residents with cognitive impairment many pleasurable moments as they can often relate to items and images from their past. There are two quiet rooms in the Residence for families who are visiting overnight or staying with their relative during an illness. Each neighbourhood includes a lounge for visiting and relaxing and two include a vented smoking room for residents.
Residents in the Marleau/Wyant Residence make great use of the Kinsmen and Veterans Villages indoor street using it as an area to walk and visit. The art gallery and other attractions make it a pleasant outing for families and residents particularly during the long cold winter months. Residents and their guests also enjoy the Tumbleweed Gift Shop where they can purchase gifts, tantalizing food items and special treats. Large events are held in the Tawaw Centre. Tawaw is a Cree word meaning, “there is a place for everyone, and everyone is welcome”. The hairdresser, the Tumbleweed Gift Shop, farmer’s market, spiritual centre, pool, rooftop patio and greenhouse all provide opportunities for residents to enjoy many normal activities of daily living.
Residents in the Marleau/Wyant Residence also enjoy opportunities to grow plants including flowers and vegetables in the wheelchair accessible garden boxes, planting in the greenhouse and quiet afternoons on their balconies all of which have wonderful view of the prairie or the city skyline. An afternoon or evening outing might also include a stop at the cafeteria for a tasty snack, ice cream cone at the Bean Counter or a moment of relaxation in the Secret Garden.
Sherbrooke works continuously to improve the environment at Sherbrooke.
We are on a challenging journey in long term care to build a human habitat and we appreciate all that residents, staff, volunteers and families do to help create a loving, caring environment.