CEO, Colonel, USAF, MSC (Retired)
As young men and women, many of our Veterans left home and traveled overseas to defend freedom for the United States. Some hadn’t even graduated high school, others left families behind and ALL had their lives forever changed in service to their country. Generations of Veterans are once again leaving their homes, this time, in search of a place where they will receive exceptional care and the dignity they deserve.
They have lived independently for most of their lives but have come to a stage where they need some help. Oftentimes they move into a long term care facility where they have to share a room with another person, are given strict guidelines for when to go to bed, wake up, have their meals and even when to bathe.
The design of our new Augusta Home changes all of that. Studies show that our parents and grandparents, when they can no longer live at home, do better in homelike settings: natural lighting, comfortable living rooms, private rooms. The design of our new Augusta Home follows the national movement of the Small House Model. It not only brings changes in the physical layout of the home, but it also modernizes the way that our staff will fulfill our mission of “Caring for those who served.”
When we opened Maine’s first Veterans’ Home in 1983 it was designed with semi-private rooms to accommodate a maximum number of residents. It included long hallways that served to store equipment. The norm were large nurses stations on each unit and one main entrance. At the time, it filled an important need – a long-term care facility where Veterans could be cared for by staff who understood the unique needs of a person who served their country.
Today, the traditional long-term model of care can feel outdated to many residents and their families. It also lacks the freedom of choice our service members fought to preserve.