Salem dining room construction finished

Residents, boards members and representatives joined in cutting the ribbon to officially open the Salem dining room on Sept. 6, 2018. (LAUREN MACGILL, Winkler Times)

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Salem Home has officially opened the doors of their second dining room, and executive director Sherry Janzen said the room has already had a big impact on residents.

“We’ve had an overwhelming support for the building of the dining room,” she said. “The room is beautiful. It’s very functional, it’s bright.”

Residents have been using the new dining area since August 10, and the room seats about 20 residents. That means the old dining room is only looking after 30 residents instead of 50 at a time.

The room does need blinds, but aside from that Janzen said the residents have been much more relaxed at meal times.

“The resident care manager on that unit says that people are much more calm in the entire unit because now there’s space,” she said. “When you really see the impact it has on the residents and how they experience their environment, it’s amazing.”

Now residents can have a choice between rooms. “If you can place the resident where it’s better for them, then it’s better for them,” Janzen said.

Board chair Arlen Hildebrand said the project was finished on time and on budget, and he credited Winkler Building Supplies for their support.

Salem also has plans to put smaller tables in the room for activities outside of dining hours, and tables with things like puzzles have already been put in the other dining room.

“If they want to go do something, it’s not just always taken away on them,” Janzen said. “Which gives them something to do all the time.”