There have been a lot of changes at Wyse Commons, in the Fairlawn Retirement Campus, in the last few months.
Not only in appearance, with new paint and carpet going in, or in tangible things, like lights and air conditioners.
Changes have also been made in the concept or philosophy of how the commons operates, to accommodate changes in the people it serves.
Lisa Short, director of property management, said in September, Wyse Commons will have been open for 21 years.
“The needs of the residents (of the Fairlawn Retirement Campus) or the interests of the residents have changed, so we have made adjustments to things that we offer here in this building.
“And the usage of this building has increased significantly over the years.”
“We have repainted the entire building, and we have all new lighting,” she said.
“We’re doing an energyefficient lighting project, we’re putting in a new air conditioning unit. We have also done improvements to the swimming pool area, and that will continue in 2018.
“It’s kind of a staged project– we’re doing it in stages.”
Last week, new flooring was going in.
“We’re taking the shuffleboard court out, and we are running our carpet over the shuffleboard area,” she said.
“We’re going to reallocate the use of that space to accommodate a ping-pong table, a shuffleboard table, two puzzle tables and a checkers table.
“We’re hoping that maybe in 2018, we can also find a corn hole game or something like that to add to it.”
There’s a new walking track, as well.
“This new walking track is a commercial product that they use in airports. It’s supposed to be extremely durable and skid resistant,” she said.
“We are also getting rid of all floor mats. That’s a big fall hazard for seniors.”
People’s interests are changing, so the building is being adjusted, she said.
“We house activities here. We have an activity in this building pretty much every day,” she said.
“Mens coffee is here, so community members will come in for coffee and an opportunity to socialize with others. We have a couple of mens card groups that come and play cards here in Wyse Commons.
“On Thursday afternoon, we have a women’s group from campus and from the community come in and play games.
“Rummikub is the favorite. It’s a game with little tiles that have letters. It’s like a Scrabble game-type of thing.”
“We still host lunches here in Wyse Commons, so we’re updating the flooring under the lunch area.
The café was redone in January 2017 to meet health department requirements. It was the first project started.
Age In Place
Wyse Commons is not just for Fairlawn residents. It’s also open to the Archbold and area community.
“This is a wellness center, so number one, it is a place for residents who reside here,” she said.
“But it is also very much for the community.
“When you look at the fact that 10% of the population (of Archbold) resides in the Fairlawn Retirement Community, the residents are a major part of the community.”
Fairlawn partners with Fusion Health & Fitness, Archbold, and the Fulton County Health Center to provide fitness classes, including classes in the indoor pool.
“We work with the community. We want residents and community members to use this. It’s a wellness center, so it benefits everyone,” she said.
“Our goal is to help everyone age in place. Our goal is not to have residents go to the care facility until it’s absolutely the last choice.”
In the past, admission to nursing homes was based on personal or family member choices.
Now, she said, there must be a medical necessity. A physician must admit a patient to a care facility.
“The goal for senior care is, the less people who are in a care facility the better, because they think that you will age healthier and longer if you remain in your home,” she said.
“People are changing, too. The expectations of the people who are coming here or reside in the community and are aging are different than what they were 20 years ago.
“People are so much more active.
“When we host events, they come. When Fusion or Fulton County Health Center offers fitness classes, people come.
“And as long as people come, we’ll continue to offer classes.”
At the start of 2017, Short said Fairlawn kicked off Helping Partners, a program of some old services, new services, and some redesigned services.
They range from transportation to manicures and pedicures.
“When you’re aged, the most difficult thing you can do is trim your toenails, because how do you get to your toes? We offer that, and we can do that here (in the commons) or we can do that in your unit,” she said.
When asked about the cost of upgrades and changes to Wyse Commons, Short said, “It’s difficult to say, because we have done this as a progression. We’ve done this over a spread of time to be able to allocate the money over a period of time.
“Because it has been a costly upgrade.”