The ladies of the Bond Head Women’s Institute often meet over a meal – breakfast, a luncheon, even a dinner – enjoying food and fellowship, an educational speaker or an interesting presentation, before getting down to the business of their meeting.
On Thursday, the Bond Head Women’s Institute had lunch at Holland Gardens Retirement Residence in Bradford, after a tour of the new facility.
They toured the main floor, including the main dining area, known as The Restaurant, where residents can choose their own seating in rooms flooded with natural light.
“If you don’t like anything, you just order off the a la carte,” said Melissa McKee, Sales & Marketing Manager, noting that there are also dining rooms on the Memory Care and Assisted Care floors, all served by the same gourmet kitchen and chef.
Also on the main floor is the informal ‘Country Kitchen,’ where residents can enjoy a continental breakfast, and use the oven, if they wish. Every suite, except on the Memory Care floor, has its own kitchenette but no stove, so the Country Kitchen provides an opportunity for residents to get creative.
It also doubles as a hub. “We also do baking out of here, we run programs out of here – bingos, auctions,” said McKee.
There is more choice at the Pub Bistro. Residents can opt for pub-style food, or order off the a la carte menu, any time the pub is open - and it is licenced. The Bistro is also where scheduled entertainment takes place, around the piano.
All meals and snacks at Holland Gardens are included in the monthly fee, although alcohol is extra. It’s part of a package that has helped the building attract residents.
Holland Gardens, which opened on April 1, 2019, offers Assisted Care, Memory Care, and Independent Living suites, ranging from small studios to large two bedroom suites.
Shelley Snoulten, also a Sales & Marketing Manager, noted that the Assisted Care floor is now full, Memory Care is at 80 percent capacity, and the Independent Living floors are approaching 50 percent occupancy.
At present about 80 suites are occupied, with nine more slated to be filled in the coming weeks.
Amenities also include a theatre, which offers movie nights and doubles as a community meeting room. “We have Netflicks, Apple TV” - and a popcorn maker, noted McKee.
There is a games room with pool table, shuffleboard, and tables for cards; a cozy library; and a free fitness room, for those looking to keep active.
And there is a spa, offering appointments for hair, nails and foot care, at an additional cost. There is even a tuck shop, like a tiny convenience store, where residents can pick up everything from snacks to batteries, without having to leave the premises.
The tour included a peek into a one bedroom model suite, with its kitchenette, equipped with refrigerator – “You provide the microwave, toaster, coffee maker,” McKee explained – large living room, bedroom, and bathroom with walk-in shower.
The monthly fee also includes weekly housekeeping, and laundry services for sheets and towels, and a pendant that can be used to alert nursing staff in case of an emergency.
“The nurse will know where you are in the building and will come running,” explained McKee.
Currently, Holland Gardens employs 45 to 55 “front line” staff, including nurses and PSWs, she noted, most of whom live in the area – and as Holland Gardens approaches its first anniversary, McKee said, “We’re pretty proud of it!”
The Women’s Institute met in the Private Dining Room, which can be booked by residents for private functions, and enjoyed a meal of gluten-free cream of broccoli soup, salad or sandwich, and dessert, all for only $12 – knowing that Holland Gardens would donate all of the proceeds to The LOFT’s Bradford House, a residence for seniors at risk of homelessness.
Getting down to business, the WI members approved donations of $200 to each of Sir William Osler Public School, My Sister’s Place–People in Transition shelter for women and their children, Matthews House Hospice in Alliston, and The LOFT; discussed possible fundraisers for 2020; and worked on plans for the 100th Anniversary of the Bond Head Women's Institute coming up on June 20.
The WI Ladies plan to host a Strawberry Social to celebrate their centennial, with displays, entertainment by Glenda Paxton, and a guest speaker. Watch for details, and free tickets.