It’s happening. The groundbreaking has been celebrated. The building is quickly going up. And the brand-new Health Care Center at The Heritage of Green Hills is expected to open in early summer of 2022.
Now that construction is in full swing, Melissa Oley, the marketing and admissions liaison; Cat, a nurse’s aide; and Doris, a resident in personal care who has lived at The Heritage since 2009, answered questions and shared their diverse perspectives as they anticipate the opening of the new center.
Q: What are you most looking forward to about the opening of the new center?
Doris: I can watch the building being constructed from my windows and it’s exciting to see how fast it’s going. I view the progress every day. We can see the cranes working and, just in the last 24 hours, we’re seeing steel beams being put up.
Melissa: I’m excited about being able to talk to residents and families about the new kinds of care we can provide here. I’m also excited for the center to open. The sooner that it’s open, the more people we can help and provide with a great quality of care.
Cat: I am looking forward to the memory care area. Because of the Y shape of the corridors, residents will be able to walk around and participate in activities as they move through the space. It’s important for them to have that space; they will never run out of a place to walk.
Q: Are residents and families excited about the Health Care Center?
Doris: I am. I’m really excited about the construction of the new building. I’ll be happy to move. Especially because it will have newer, bigger suites and larger showers. I’m happy that people who need more help than I do are going to have a state-of-the-art community. I’ve seen pictures of the beautiful new building and I’m excited to move.
Cat: They are super excited. A lot of the residents are talking about it. From the closets to the lighting, the modern design has everybody thrilled. Some of the families have driven over to the site to look at the progress.
Melissa: The residents are very excited. Every week, they go on a scenic bus ride, and the bus makes a stop by the building site so they can see the progress firsthand.
Q: What will be your favorite feature in the new building?
Cat: I like that there are different living options, from studios to one-bedroom apartments.
Melissa: I have a hard time picking one — there are so many features that will enhance what we provide. We take pride in providing quality care in an exceptional environment, and this new building will enhance our ability to do that. Here are a few of my favorite features:
- The outdoors. The outdoor features will be especially appealing, with their ability to connect residents to nature and enhance their overall wellness. There’s going to be a secure, enclosed area for memory care, and an outdoor area with modern features and a firepit for personal care.
- The lighting. The windows will be large and the feel will be open. Natural light just makes you feel better.
- The views. It’s just a beautiful campus. Every suite will look out on nature and wildlife — it’s exciting. There won’t be a bad view from any room.
- The architecture. The design will be beautiful.
- The space. The living space will increase dramatically, and the environment will feel more comfortable and modern. The added living space is a huge plus for both residents and staff. Larger, more-open bathrooms and showers will make transferring residents during bathing and toileting much easier.
- The dining. The new restaurant-style dining room will be completely different, offering a more homelike feel.
Q: Why did The Heritage decide to create a new Health Care Center?
Melissa: When you look at the history of our organization, there were always phases planned for the development of the community. We’re at that point where we’re ready to take that next step with a new Health Care Center. We’ll be able to enhance the level of care that we provide. All good things will come from it.
Q: How will team members enjoy working in this new environment?
Cat: My coworkers and I will love the new center. I think it’s going to make our job so much easier to have an upgraded building. The functionality of everything is going to be great — the space, the equipment — we’re all going to be happy.
Doris: I think the team members will be happy there too, with all the modern equipment.
Q: What was the inspiration for the design?
Melissa: There was a lot of research done even before breaking ground, getting input from different people as to what the best design would be. Our leadership and owners drew a little bit of inspiration from everyone.
Q: How will this new center fulfill the mission of Well by DesignSM?
Melissa: The building is expected to enhance the Well By DesignSM program because there will be additional space for wellness activities, particularly in the enhanced outdoor spaces. Also, especially in the memory care section, residents will have interactive areas where they can participate in activities. Even the natural light will enhance the sense of wellness. All of it is going to play into really focusing on well-being and making residents truly feel that they’re in a homelike environment.
Q: Why is a state-of-the-art center so important in fulfilling residents’ needs?
Cat: I believe it’s important because when you’re providing services to people that need specialty care, you need special, updated equipment for mobility issues. It’s a great design — it’s going to be awesome for them.
Doris: Everybody that I’ve talked to is excited about moving into something modern. There is history in this building, but the new building will be brand-new and beautiful.
Q: How was the groundbreaking ceremony?
Doris: My husband went up to see the groundbreaking. They gave the residents shovels as if they were breaking the ground and took pictures. It was a lot of fun.
Cat: Some of the residents went down to the groundbreaking ceremony. And for those who didn’t, Heather, our activity director, hosted a party. The residents wore hard hats and enjoyed snacks and dessert. It was a great celebration!
Melissa: The event was very nice. Even though it rained, the weather didn’t dampen anyone’s spirits. It helped us see there’s progress being made and for the residents, it’s a game changer. They’ve been told about our new Health Care Center — and it’s now coming to fruition.
Q: Were there extra challenges of working on this project during COVID-19?
Melissa: At the beginning of the pandemic, construction wasn’t happening in Pennsylvania because it wasn’t considered essential. There were also challenges of meeting with the design and construction crews, and there was a lack of availability of materials. But everyone stayed positive and moved forward. And now it’s happening!
Cat: There were some obstacles and delays with COVID, but everybody is just positive and happy that it’s going on and we’re just hopeful. We’re all excited.
Q: What would you say to someone considering moving or moving a loved one to the Heritage now?
Melissa: Don’t delay! You can move today, receive our wonderful care and begin enjoying all of the benefits of our community. You will be first in line to select your suite in the new Health Care Center. You will also have a front row seat in watching the development as it proceeds.
Q: How do you feel about the overall Heritage experience?
Doris: I love it here. It’s been wonderful. I like the people, and I like the grounds around here. It’s kind of out in the country, but it’s close to everything. It’s perfect for my husband and myself. We’ve seen other places, but nothing can compare with this. I like the trees and the flowers and the gardening — the gardeners do a beautiful job. I’ve been happy here.
One final remark from Doris: I just want to mention that the people in charge here — the nurses and caregivers — have a certain presence about them that really brightens our days.
Doris’s last comment really says it all. Because at the end of the day, the new Health Care Center, with its state-of-the-art features, will enhance our services, but our people are at the heart of what makes our care truly extraordinary.
For the latest information about the progress on our new Health Care Center, check back here.