• LaBella Associates

It's a Brand New Day in the Neighborhood at the Bath VA Community Living Center

The Bath VA Medical Center has undergone a transformation of its Community Living Center. Building 78 is a 3 story building that houses 80 skilled nursing beds. After upgrading 10 hospice beds on its first floor in 2012 (otherwise known as CLC1), the VAMC has now completed phase 2 of a $7 million, 35 bed modernization to the second floor (CLC2).

Our task as designers was to provide 35 private resident rooms on each floor, or neighborhood, organized into 2 houses. These houses would have their own theme and follow the Veterans Affairs “Small House Model” Design Guide for Community Living Centers.

Residents have single bedrooms with a personal bathroom. Private rooms are furnished with a desk, dresser and flat screen television mounted to the wall. These rooms typically have large picture windows and each room is equipped with an integrated lift system which can assist in moving the resident from the bed to the bathroom. Several of these rooms have features that are optimized for persons of size.

The House’s living areas are designed using Greek Revival and Queen Anne period color palettes, moldings and furnishings. Hallways are larger and doorways wider to accommodate wheelchairs. There are no static nursing stations which allow nurses to work alongside and better mingle with residents. Each home has a working kitchen that serves fresh, hot food, with a counter suitable for wheelchair access, allowing residents to participate in some meal preparations. Dining and living rooms create a homey atmosphere that is conducive to patient care. The unique colors and signage provide wayfinding cues for residents with dementia and cognitive disorders.

The shared spaces between the houses include a neighborhood great room with a fireplace, and an open second floor screened porch. Other shared spaces include a formal dining room for family events and a Snoezelen Multi-Sensory room to help reduce agitation, anxiety, stimulate reactions and encourage communication. As part of VA’s Whole Health initiative, residents will have access to a spa room with a jetted spa tub, aromatherapy, Reiki and a massage chair

Residential style lighting, and individually controlled heating and air-conditioning, as well as technology enhancements strengthen the patient experience.

We were proud to celebrate this opening with the VA, and be among those to welcome our Veterans to their new neighborhoods.