By Marilyn Walls - May 05th 2005.

northlondonI remember growing up in North London and passing the big red brick building behind Archie’s (or across from Kmart depending on your age group) on my bicycle.  Being young and carefree, I knew it was a nursing home but that’s where my interest ended.

My interest has been renewed for sometime now and for two reasons.  First, because my mother resides in a similar residence and now I drive by and have been watching the construction workers put the finishing touches on the new west wing expansion.

When I first arrived at the Village, I was greeted by a friendly voice over the security system and then personally escorted to the main office by one of the residents who seemed more than happy to do it.  Across from the office in the tearoom a small gathering of newspaper enthusiasts chatted eagerly about the daily news and offered me a warm smile.  I made my arrangements to return for the Open House and slipped past a couple of fellas shooting a friendly game of pool in the common area.

Kensington’s slogan “Compassion, Comfort & Care” is visible throughout this single-floor facility where everything is barrier free with no stairs.  Their intention is to foster a community spirit based on creative involvement, social acceptance, relaxation, an personal involvement, while respecting the individuality of each resident.  The qualified staff take the worry out of day-to-day living providing housekeeping services and professionally preparing delicious meals and snacks with special attention to the unique needs and tastes of each resident.  The suites are designed to provide a modern and comfortable space and for couples, or single residents that would enjoy extra room, Kensington offers spacious couples suites with additional floor space and creative layout designs.  All residents here are encouraged to bring personal furnishings and accessories to give their space a personal touch.  Hairdressing, barbering and laundry facilities are also available and as a true community, Kensington offers a variety of opportunities for residents to become actively involved in the courtyard, library, atrium, craft room, games room, chapel or just relax in the lounge.

The staff and residents made me feel quite welcome during my short stay and I was extremely impressed with not only the expansion and the additional amount of space they have acquired but I got an overall sense of a team that provides extraordinary care and I met many satisfied folks who benefit from that.  I look forward to returning and sitting in on the tea and newspaper time.  Hopefully the sun will be shining and the tea will be iced.