Residents stay in their community as their needs change

Landiss (“Slim”) Goosse has been a resident at Killam Health Centre for just over a month now, and the 88-year-old is happy he made the decision to move into a supportive living residence, which helps him be as independent as possible.

“I like to be a little independent myself, but at my age, it’s not as easy to get around,” Slim says. “But the staff make sure I do.”

Slim is one of 40 supportive living level 4 residents at Killam Health Centre, which also provides long-term care to residents with more complex medical needs. Supportive living caters to individuals with medical needs that can be safely managed with care provided by licensed practical nurses and health care aides and is available to those with dementia who don’t pose a safety risk to themselves or others.

While supportive living ensures residents’ medical and personal care needs are met, it also encourages residents to live as independently as they wish, within their abilities. And Slim says this is something he greatly appreciates. He can usually move around on his own while in his wheelchair, but sometimes he needs an extra hand.

And though Slim says he loves his spacious, modern suite at Killam Health Centre, his favourite aspect of his new home is easily the staff who care for him. While he doesn’t need as much care as some of his fellow residents, it’s a comfort knowing that there is always a compassionate staff member there for him whenever he needs assistance, day or night. 

“You just can’t beat them,” Slim says. “They’re terrific, and I sure appreciate it.”

Killam Health Centre completed a redevelopment in September 2020 that included constructing an additional 24,000 square feet dedicated to resident suites and living areas, followed by the modernization of the existing building. The new space boasts 50 private suites, including two bariatric suites and four couple suites. Geri Clark, site administrator, says that having suites for couples in a rural community means spouses can remain together when one or both require continuing care and that her team can provide better holistic care to both spouses this way. 

“We’re excited to welcome couples at Killam Health Centre for the first time,” Geri says. “There are more than just physical needs that need to be cared for, and that’s why we have couple suites — so we can look after both their emotional and social well-being.”

Another special feature of Killam Health Centre is its flexibility to provide supportive living, long-term care and dementia care. This means residents can age in place and care will be adapted as their needs change over time so they can stay at the residence — their home.

“The diverse levels of care are incredibly important,” says Sheli Murphy, senior operating officer, rural health services. “We want people to come and stay in place, and having supportive living with dementia care and long-term care means they can spend the rest of their days with us.”

In addition to its ability to meet a broad range of resident needs, the Campus of Caring is also designed to look and feel like home to residents, and the Killam Community Board and Killam Health Centre Foundation have played an integral role in making this happen. They have raised over $400,000 to help purchase extras, including comfortable furniture, decorations and courtyard furnishings.

Sharleen Chevraux, Killam community board and foundation chair, says she’s incredibly proud of the Campus of Caring and can’t wait to see the courtyards completed with benches, a barbecue, a play area for grandchildren and even Saskatoon bushes next summer. She hopes having beautiful and easily accessible outdoor spaces will encourage residents to get outside during the warmer months, just as they would in their own backyards, and it’s all thanks to the Killam and Flagstaff County communities.

“It’s a generous community that is willing to support all kinds of important facilities and activities,” says Sharleen. “I’m so proud that we have a space where, when people need care, they can stay and the care will come to them.”

Contribute to The Vital Beat

Have a story to share about health care? An idea for an article? We value all contributions.

Submit an idea