Abbeyfield House Society of Lakefield is launching a drive to develop one of the senior’s homes in the community.
Dewi Jones is the president of the society. He discovered the not-for-profit organization in 2016 when he was looking for a retirement residence for his older sister, and realized Abbeyfield was an affordable living facility for middle-class seniors, however there wasn’t one close to home.
“Well, life gets a little lonely at times. You’ve got to keep yourself busy, otherwise, you will vegetate, haha,” Jones said.
Ten to 14 people live in one of the houses for a rental fee of about $1,250 a month, residents receive meals and all housekeeping duties are managed by a house coordinator. Canada currently has 21 Abbeyfield houses, four of which are in Ontario.
“The goal is to have an Abbeyfield house built in Lakefield,” Jones said.
Four students from Trent University’s psychology department have partnered with Abbeyfield to help determine if there is a need in Lakefield.
“We connected with Abbeyfield. They were looking to do a needs assessment. They needed to have quantitative and qualitative data about what exactly the interest would be potentially in an Abbeyfield house,” said Dr. Elizabeth Russell, assistant professor Trent University in psychology.
The students have handed out surveys in the community and on Thursday evening, they held focus groups at the Lakefield Legion to gather more information for the Abbeyfield final business plan.
“If I am around long enough, it’s going to get built. I don’t have a concern there because I feel that the people that have volunteered to work on this are just as eager about it as I am,” Jones said.
If you are interested in the concept, you can find the Abbeyfield House Society of Lakefield on Facebook.
The first Abbeyfield fundraiser to help finance the project will be held on April 23, at the Selwyn Outreach Centre in Peterborough. A choir coming from Cardiff, Wales will perform.
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