My first Magazine - Page 34

Serving to Change “I was also thinking of escalators and whatever that could make their walking easier. The home should also be a place of formation. On weekends, it should go back to the church where catechism, children and spiritual formation are our priority.” “All these came to me even before I visited any eldercare homes overseas. But then I thought ok better to see if these ideas are feasible, so that’s when we were sent overseas to view similar models. They tell me my vision is such and such a model and I have never even heard of them before.” “I thought about what the seniors of 5 to 10 years from now would like and one of the things is water. Having swum more regularly and having gone on river and sea cruises which the previous generation probably never did or did so much of, I thought having a hydropool to provide water therapy would be useful. It’s not cheap and requires maintenance but it will be popular.” Going to Glow On the sunny Tuesday morning of 31 May 2016, the final structural piece was placed atop St Joseph’s Home and staff and partners celebrated in a topping out ceremony. “I had also gone round to ask the residents what part of the old home they would like to keep and they told me ‘Just give us a piece of green’. So in the new home, you will see that every floor has a bit of greenery. Each level is also designed with wide open spaces, like the ground floor, for residents to wander about, so they need not come downstairs if they choose not to. The home is also built to be future-proof. SETTLING INTO THE NEW MANDAI HOME 32 | St Joseph’s Home The Challenges Building a home three times as big as the former inevitably poses design challenges. From the start, the team opted for an open concept which meant exposing the residents’ rooms to the elements. “We wanted them to befriend nature and so I challenged the architect to find a way to do it well,” says Sr Geraldine. “That’s why if you notice, the rooms are all slanted to one side and there are planters on the ledge of the building.”