Residents celebrate the end of construction and the brand new Health and Rehabilitation Center.

More than 900 days of construction on a new Health and Rehabilitation Center ended recently at Abernethy Laurels, a United Church Homes and Services licensed Continuing Care Community in Newton, N.C. So what did the residents and employees do? They threw a party.

“Our team of staff and residents have endured many days of inconveniences,” says Amber McIntosh, Abernethy Laurel’s executive director. “This celebration was to recognize our completion and show them how much we appreciate their patience during this process.”

The celebration also was a chance to celebrate the finished project, which includes upgraded rooms for 174 residents, and a memory support and rehabilitation area. Abernethy Laurels broke ground for the new center in Fall 2015. The center was completed in two phases: North Manor opened in 2017 and South Manor opened earlier this year.

The new facility was borne of a need to upgrade the former healthcare center, built in the 1970s. “To remain competitive in the market, a new facility was needed, as well as a new model of care,” says Joy Cline, chief marketing officer. “The new design allows more space for residents,” including private rooms, baths, and companion suites.

The home style open floor plan for common areas enhances the community.

“The increased space allowed for a redesign of the memory support area and the rehabilitation area,” Cline adds. “Each of these areas has a larger dedicated space that includes outdoor space.” Additional parking and new laundry facilities also were added.

But perhaps the biggest shift is in the model of care. “Abernethy Laurels has incorporated a household model of care that is person centered,” Cline says. The building’s configuration “is designed for 16 residents in each home-like setting, with dining and an open floor plan with living areas, kitchens, fireplaces, and spas.”

The new Health and Rehabilitation Center is open to the public and is Medicare and Medicaid certified. It also has additional benefits, for Abernethy Laurels and the larger Newton area.

The new center.

Because of the new center, “our community sees Abernethy Laurels as a premier location,” Cline says, as the new facilities help older adults make a decision to stay in their home county, rather than move away.

“We are so excited to bring construction to a close and showcase our community,” Cline adds. “The residents and staff have endured more than 900 days of construction. However, the transformation of our community and the outcome of a state-of-the-art Health and Rehabilitation Center paired with a person-centered model of care makes it worth the wait.”