Aging Well: Getting closer

Open house a chance to preview new addition to Haven and the community

Haven open house

Hayden residents are invited to an open house, from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Wednesday at The Haven. The event will feature tours of the new Community Center addition and the opportunity for residents to choose the building's exterior finishes and contribute funds toward landscaping.

Light refreshments and the music of Greg Scott will be provided. For more information, call 871-7676.

During the past few months, a dream has become a reality at The Haven Assisted Living Center - almost.

Construction of the Community Center addition is on schedule to be complete in the fall. In the meantime, the Northwest Colorado Visiting Nurse Association, which owns and operates The Haven, would like residents of Hayden and the surrounding area to take a peek at the new building and help make a few decisions.

The Haven is hosting a formal open house Wednesday evening. In addition to touring the new structure, residents will cast their votes for combinations of stucco, roof shingles and decorative rock they would like to see on the building's exterior.

Located near U.S. Highway 40 at the town's east entrance, the Community Center will provide a welcome into Hayden and also will be a place for residents to gather for various programs and events.

In addition to considering the building's appearance, VNA staff hope residents will consider making a donation toward the purchase of perennials, grasses, shrubs and trees which will provide the finishing touches to the project, beautifying both The Haven and the town.

Escalating construction costs have made it difficult to include landscaping in the construction budget. With residents' help, however, plans for relaxing outdoor spaces, including cement walkways and raised gardens, will come to fruition.

"We are so grateful for the support and encouragement we've received from the community for this project," said Dace Kramer, the VNA's Aging Well program coordinator. "We hope community members are as excited as we are about the opportunities the building will offer as they help us see it to completion."

Community effort

Help does not have to come in the form of money. Members of the Hayden Garden Club, for example, have offered to help plant trees, shrubs and flowers.

"I've seen the landscaping plan and it's just going to be so beautiful. : What an opportunity for the people that live here that enjoy being outside," Haven director Karen Burley said. "It is just going to be neat."

Excitement isn't hard to come by at The Haven, where staff and residents will welcome the additional space for everyday operations and special events. They also look forward to opportunities for healthy aging and other programs that will integrate residents and older adults with others in the community.

"They will feel they are actually part of something bigger," Burley said about Haven residents.

The 6,000-square-foot addition to The Haven will comprise several elements.

The first part involves a much-needed expansion of the current dining room, which will better accommodate special occasions, such as the annual community Halloween party.

"It's really a squeeze when we have an event," Burley said.

The addition also will include space designated for an adult day services program. Still in the planning stages, the program, which will be the first of its kind in the Yampa Valley, will provide older adults a safe and secure place to be during the day while caregivers work or attend other needs.

Adult day services typically provide meals, activities, help with everyday needs such as eating and bathing and potentially health services and/or transportation to doctor and other appointments.

The large Community Center will include separate rooms for computer and Internet access, as well as exercise/physical therapy space. The main room will have partitions allowing for multiple gatherings at once.

The Community Center will provide an additional venue for the VNA to host Aging Well classes, such as Arthritis Foundation fitness, Tai Chi, Healthier Living and N'Balance as well as immunization and wellness clinics.

Aging Well staff also look forward to partnering with other organizations to offer educational and fun programs that will appeal to residents of all ages.

"Crafts, language and art classes, dance lessons - there are so many possibilities for activities that will engage youth, older adults and everyone in between," Kramer said.

Although details and a fee schedule have not been established yet, the Community Center will be available to residents to rent for weddings, meetings, classes and other events. To express interest in hosting a program at the center, call 871-7676.

Tamera Manzanares can be reached at tammarie74@yahoo.com.

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