$10 million Westminster Village upgrade underway

DOVER — Westminster Village in Dover will receive a $10 million face-lift over the next year to provide better care and a nicer environment for its residents.

Construction is underway and expected to be completed by mid-2016.

“We’ve been working on the design for the past few years, addressing what our needs are and how to address them,” said Mary Ann Poling, Westminster Village executive director.

The new rehabilitation center’s design includes four “neighborhoods,” structured as groups of seven to 16 patients, a state-of-the-art, specialized transitional care and renovations of core common areas.

The rehabilitation center also will include features including private baths with walk-in showers, in-room or restaurant style dining options and computer and Internet access.

Jim Poteet of Bear is the construction supervisor on the Westminster Village renovation project. (Delaware State News/Dave Chambers)

Jim Poteet of Bear is the construction supervisor on the Westminster Village renovation project. (Delaware State News/Dave Chambers)

“From the physical layout and environment, to new flexible options, opportunities for social engagement and the coordination of activities, we’re changing completely,” Ms. Poling said. “Our goal is to enhance the experience of patients coming for short stay rehab, as well as helping residents for long-term care feel like they are truly at home.”

The appearance isn’t all that’s changing. The type of care provided also is being improved and changes already are underway.

Westminster is de-emphasizing job titles in favor of meeting residents’ needs, and residents also will have the opportunity to be directly involved in planning and running their own activities.

“We are leaving the medical model and transitioning to person-centered care,” Ms. Poling said. “It’s a countrywide trend in care and has proven to be a successful model.”

The physical transformation is a costly endeavor at $10 million. But Presbyterian Senior Living, Westminster Village’s parent company, is covering most of the expenses. Westminster is starting a capital campaign to raise $1.55 million.

“We’ve already talked to the Central Delaware Chamber of Commerce, which we are working on to get tips and plan fundraisers for the campaign that will kick off later this month,” Ms. Poling said.

Funds raised for the transformation will be used not only for construction, but for new therapy equipment, state-of-the-art, specialized rehabilitation and transitional care and café dining area.

All the new construction and equipment will be more energy efficient, saving both water and energy. New energy and water-saving systems will incorporate the use of low-flow fixtures and geothermal heating and cooling systems.

Aside from rehabilitation and long-term care, the 45-year-old facility also has a senior living community that offers residents ages 55 and up independent living and assisted living options.

“That’s beauty behind the care we offer,” Ms. Poling said. “If you come in while you’re healthy, living independently and your health later becomes compromised, you don’t need to worry about where to go, because you’re already there.”

All residents are eligible for non-medical in-home services like cooking and housing accommodations to meet their needs.

“As people get older, they may need more help getting things done around the house, and we can now help them with little things they may need,” Ms. Poling said.

To learn more about Westminster Village in Dover, visit www.wmvdover.org.

Reach staff writer Ashton Brown at abrown@newszap.com. Follow @AshtonReports on Twitter.

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