Eastern Health's new long term care facility in St. John's has more beds and twice the space of the one that it is replacing.

Six years and $150-million have gone into building a replacement for the Hoyles-Escasoni Complex.

When residents arrive in September to the new building, located on Newfoundland Drive, they will be greeted with high ceilings and spacious rooms.

There will be 460 beds total, with almost twice as much floor space per patient.

"There's a lot of warm colours to the building. It's a much more healing environment for this facility in the choice of flooring and the colours," says Joe Dunford, Regional Director for Infrastructure and Support at Eastern Health.

The health authority hopes the new building will be particularly accommodating to patients with cognitive impairments, such as dementia.

Protective units are one feature that may help these people.

"It may be a benefit from their care perspective to have that different layout in the unit to help them wander, to help them with their aggression," says Glenda Compton, Regional Director for Long-Term Care for Eastern Health.

Glenda Compton

Glenda Compton says the new complex will better accommodate patients dealing with dementia. (CBC)

"It gives us the ability to be responsive to all the care needs."

Compton said this will not be a retirement home or a senior's centre. People who will live at this facility will have serious health issues.

However, Eastern Health said is has tried to include features to make residents feel at home.

Compton said each patient will have a shadow box, a small glass display case to keep personalized items in.

"Residents can not only use them to personalize their rooms by putting their own items in them, those items can also serve as a visual cue for somebody with dementia, let's say, to find their room," she said.