Reprinted from The Guardian, June 8th, 2013 – by Dave Stewart – Alan MacPhee of Hartsville was ministering in the community for 15 years when he sensed another calling.
The beef farmer was moving a bale of hay one day when it came to him — he wanted to combine his love for helping people with his desire to go into business. Soon, he will open the doors on his new venture — the Burnside Community Care home in Clyde River.
“Business was always something interesting, in my mind,’’ MacPhee said in an interview as a construction crew worked not far away getting the 40-bed, three-floor home ready.
“I remember I was driving up in the field in the fall with a round bale of hay when I thought I have to make a move here. Personally, I felt it was time for a change.’’
So, he stepped down as minister of a parish in Hartsville.
He quotes scripture (Hebrews 11:8) to convey what he felt at the time he knew his life was moving in a new direction.
“There is a scripture that talks about Abraham. It says ‘He went out, not knowing where he was going’. He had a sense of calling. I didn’t know where I was going but I did have the sense that it was time to move on.’’
MacPhee had a partner who was interested in investing in the community care facility with him but that partner wants to stay silent.
“As far as most of the day-to-day stuff, I carry the ball.’’
So, MacPhee started looking into community care facilities. He met with the owners of the Andrews facilities in Charlottetown and Stratford and toured similar facilities in Tignish and Eldon.
Burnside will have 40 beds, featuring both single- and double-bed rooms. The building, which sits directly beside Burnside Presbyterian Church in Clyde River, has three levels, wheelchair accessible showers, dining room, community room, a chapel, beauty salon, activity room and two lounges.
The outside will feature a courtyard, screened-in deck, veranda, walking trail and a garden.
MacPhee thinks the top floor will be dedicated to assisted living or independent living.
“They’ll have a nurse call, availability to any of our programs and they can have the menu.’’
MacPhee says lots of effort will be put into decoration to bring as much life to the place as possible. That includes buying just the right furniture, drapes and bed spreads.
“When I walk into one of these rooms I’m always thinking ‘Would I be happy here?’ I’m trying to make a place that gives people independence, gives them freedom and is a place that is interesting.’’
In other words, he doesn’t want residents to feel like they’re living in a community care facility. He wants them to feel like they just moved into a new community.
“I want a sense of community. We go through various stages (in life) and when you come to the stage of being a senior it’s a difficult stage a lot of the time. It’s a stage of change.’’
As for staffing needs, MacPhee is getting plenty of interest. So far, he’s hired about six people, including a cook, resident care worker, licensed practical nurse and a registered nurse.
“We have those but we foresee in the fall we’ll probably be hiring again so we’ll be looking for more people (but) we want good people who have great attitudes. This is going to a creative place to live and we want a positive sense of community.’’
As for the name of the facility, Burnside just happens to be the name of the adjacent church and in Scottish means ‘by the river’.
“We just thought (Burnside) was a good fit all around.’’
For more information, contact MacPhee at 621-0284 or 394-1241 and by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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