“We will embed smart sensors, we will have all the monitoring systems, artificial intelligence use to improve the quality of life of the seniors living here,” Al-Mutawaly said.
He added they are hoping to hold some events for residents at Dr. William Connell Park across the street.
Al-Mutawaly said he expects to get residents via referrals from local health-care professionals and from their website, adding the cost to live there could be as much as $6,000 per month.
While the project has not received any government funding, it will serve as a living lab for researchers from the McMaster Institute for Research on Aging (MIRA).
MIRA managing director Ine Wauben said Ressam Gardens gives them an opportunity to test the effectiveness of new memory-related technologies.
“It’s really a great facility for McMaster researchers to implement their research and test their innovations,” she said.
Each resident’s diet, activities and mobility will all be monitored to give researchers a better understanding of memory-related illnesses.
Ressam Gardens will be run by the Extendicare nursing home company.
Gary Loden, vice-president of the company’s management and consulting division, said the new facility will have about 100 employees and the focus on memory-related care will enable them to develop a new model for seniors’ care.
“This gives us an opportunity to grow our knowledge and resource base,” Loden said.
Nalini Sen, director of research programs at the Alzheimer’s Society of Canada, noted 564,000 Canadians have some form of dementia.
She said the research being done at Ressam Gardens will be closely watched by their group.
“If anything, it will only improve the research that goes on within this particular base,” said Sen, who added they are “leaning on technology more and more” to help improve the quality of life for people with dementia.