Healthy and vibrant community space and "age-friendly" buildings are a necessity for supporting older Canadians as that segment of the population continues to grow. Age-friendly properties are aimed specifically at the age 55+, and are designed to promote independent living through a home that supports physical and social wellbeing.
In Lethbridge, through our renovations of the Westwinds complex — which has been renamed Applewood after engaging with residents and asking them for their input — we have refurbished and refreshed the building to create a safe, bright, and welcoming community for age-friendly living.
In early September, Avenue Living Communities hosted an event to celebrate the grand reopening of Applewood. The event was a great success according to Graeme Mitchell, Regional Vice President. "The grand reopening was well received by the residents and community, and we got lots of engagement," Graeme says.
He further highlights that Avenue Living Communities doesn't just buy buildings, we improve, reposition, and repurpose buildings — taking health, transportation, community, safety, connections, finances, amenities, and supports into account.
"The concept is to make safe, affordable living spaces that are light and bright. It is a friendly environment from the moment you walk up to the building," Graeme said. "What we find with a lot of these residents is usually it's their children who are helping them find a new home. So, if you want to have your parents to live in these suites, you can do so with the knowledge of their comfort and happiness, and knowing it is where you would want to bring your grandchildren to visit."
"For Applewood, we consulted with a wide range of experts before starting renovations to ensure we were making the right choices for our future residents," Graeme says.
Accessibility is increased within each suite via raised toilets, grab-bars in bathrooms and showers, and an oven shut-off function for added safety. The four-story building also has two elevators, helping to ensure accessibility for those with mobility challenges.
This is our first building we have renovated it to make it age friendly, because we truly believe that everybody deserves a place to call home.
"There's a mixture of suites available that have our new laminate flooring, and we are also keeping some with carpet because in an age-friendly community or complex, some people have wheelchairs or walkers and find laminate flooring slippery," said Graeme. "We want to make sure we have a variety of options for potential residents to choose from."
There has also been focus on the exterior of the building. "We have painted the exterior and balconies Avenue Living Communities green and added more exterior lighting to the front and back of the building," says Graeme.
The property also had a large carport in the back of the building, which has since been removed to open the area up, making it more inviting for residents. Additionally, new grass was added, as well as trees.
This project, like others, shows our commitment to affordable, safe, and comfortable living spaces. People never feel like they're alone in Avenue Living Communities' complexes.
"We saw this renovation as an opportunity to improve the community of downtown Lethbridge. Not only is it going to help the building and Avenue Living, it's really going to help the whole block. The building is close to all major amenities, pharmacies, shopping centres, grocery stores, and transit. Its location makes it ideal for the demographic we are looking to serve here."
Join the waitlist to rent in Applewood at https://www.avenueliving.ca/apartments-for-rent/applewood.