A New Home for Byron
Located in Fort Wayne, Indiana, Byron Health Center was founded in 1853 as a place for six downtrodden county residents to live on a farm, and over the years was used as a tuberculosis sanitarium, a place to treat cholera and a county “poor farm.”
Fast forward to 2020, where Byron officials describe it as a community that provides long-term care for those who need specialty skilled nursing. Originally constructed as a short-term stay hospital, their old facility out on Lima road was just not fit for their current residents. Most residents come to stay for the rest of their adult lives – some as long as 30 years or more – and their new space needed to feel more like home, and less like a shared room with curtain dividers and hospital beds.
Investing In The Community
The $38 million investment was partially funded by $12.5 million in New Market Tax Credits, the most ever awarded to a single project by the city of Fort Wayne. Their new campus is located along the corridor of Lake Avenue and Beacon Street, just steps away from Parkview Randallia Hospital and the VA Hospital of Fort Wayne.
Built with purpose, the neighborhood style of the community was designed with their residents quality of life in mind.
“They’re going to be able to go outside whenever they chose to go outside because they won’t need a staff member to go outside with them,” said Byron CEO Deb Lambert. “We designed our outside space to be very safe for them. All of the bathrooms are handicap accessible so as long as they can safely transfer, they’re going to be able to shower independently which is something they’re not able to do right now.”
Overall Project Highlights
- Multiple fireplaces and natural, cozy finishes to feel more like home.
- Large cafeteria with vaulted ceilings and garage doors which provide ease of access for bedridden residents to be involved in group activities.
- Amenities include a coffee shop, a bank, a pet park, multiple raised garden beds for community use, and safe outdoor environments that residents can explore on their own.
- Floor plan separated into 8 different “neighborhoods” of care
- Each neighborhood has it’s own kitchen, common spaces, and outdoor space.
- Residents are separated by gender as well as cognitive ability.
- Each resident has their own private room with handicap accessible en suite bathroom.