Providence Living’s rendering of its planned Dementia Village in the Comox Valley
$52.6 million Dementia Village planned on former St. Joseph’s General Hospital site
Island Health announced a project development agreement with Providence Living today to build and operate a 156-bed dementia village on the former St. Joseph’s General Hospital site.
“Our government continues to take action to ensure seniors, especially those with complex care needs, are receiving the best care possible,” Minister of Health Adrian Dix said in a press release this morning. “Friends and family should be confident knowing a loved parent or grandparent with dementia is in a safe environment, which is why I am pleased to see this project take another step towards meeting the needs of seniors in the Comox Valley.”
Leah Hollins, Island Health Board Chair said she was”excited to see Vancouver Island’s first publicly funded dementia village be built in the Comox Valley.”
The dementia village will feature 148 publicly-funded long-term care beds and eight publicly funded respite beds. It will be built on the site of the existing The Views long-term care home and the former St. Joseph’s General Hospital. Once completed, the dementia village will replace the existing beds at The Views.
“We are very pleased to take this next step in fulfilling our mandate to provide innovative seniors care by building a long-term care home modelled on the concepts of a dementia village,” said Jane Murphy, President and CEO of Providence Living, and the former CEO of St. Joseph’s Hospital. “The Views at St. Joseph’s has a long history in Comox, and we are committed to seeking community input to ensure we best meet local needs. We look forward to continuing our work with Island Health to advance our shared goal of helping seniors in the Comox Valley live to their full potential.”
The dementia village will include:
• Small, self-contained households of 12 residents where each resident will have their own room and bathroom, leading to heightened infection control in a modern space
• A social model of resident-directed care for people with dementia
• Fostering free movement of people with dementia within a home and village setting
• Ensuring resident involvement in everyday activities within the household or the wider, secure village
• Focusing on individualized smaller groupings; cultural bonds, friendships, social activities
• Emphasizing daily life and sense of belonging – involving residents with food preparation, cooking, laundry
• Amenities for residents and community that include community gardens, child daycare, Island Health-funded adult day programs, and a community space, art studio, bistro and chapel
Construction of the dementia village is estimated to cost $52.6 million. Island Health will provide annual operational funding to meet the province’s target of 3.36 direct care hours per resident day. Providence Living has already begun the redevelopment planning process, with a goal of starting construction in spring or summer 2021.
“As a resident of the Comox Valley for the past 30 years, I’ve seen the increased need for seniors’ care, and I’ve heard from people looking for choices in long term care homes to meet their specific holistic needs,” said Ronna Rae Leonard, parliamentary secretary for seniors and MLA for Courtenay-Comox. “This innovative dementia village will help seniors experiencing dementia continue to have a good and dignified quality of life.”
Island Health and Providence Living will be consulting and engaging with stakeholders and the community as the project moves ahead.
Providence Living is a new faith-based, non-profit health care organization established by Providence Health Care to redefine our collective expectation of seniors’ care in British Columbia. The formation of Providence Living came from a deep desire to be part of a global movement to completely rethink and reimagine the experience of seniors and others in need of care, replacing care homes with genuine communities.
The organization was formerly known as Providence Residential and Community Care, and supported by St. Paul’s Foundation, Comox Valley Healthcare Foundation, and Auxiliary Society For Comox Valley Healthcare.
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When will this facility be completed?
This facility sounds lovely unfortunately there will be less beds in this village than are currently in The VIews. There are 169 residents at The Views (according to their website). This new facility has 153 beds. Why didn’t Providence and VIHA plan to have, at a minimum, the same capacity in the new facility?
I wonder whether most of the staff of this idyllic community will continue to be underpaid and will come over from other facilities who are already struggling with keeping staff. The whole picture of elder care, including those with dementia, needs to be addressed and overhauled as COVID has so blatantly shown us. And yes, MAID is now legal and should be available to those in any publicly funded care facilities. This is a very narrow attempt at answering these complex and vital needs.
On August 26th, 2019 a Victoria, BC man, Gayle Garlock, was the first Canadian with dementia to die with medial assistance (MAID). He challenged the assumption that he was excluded from from the new Bill and he wasn’t. The CBC Radio interview is still posted. “BC Man is one of the First Canadians with Dementia to Die With Medical Assistance”. It includes over 400 very thoughtful comments including one from Mr. Garlock’s wife thanking the author.
The proposed Dementia Village has to obey the laws of Canada or they shouldn’t receive public tax support, No individual or institution should be allowed to make a choice such as this one for anyone.
I think it’s a great idea. It reminds me of a home care situation in Edmonton where we had to place our mother who had dementia. She was well cared for and happy there, especially safe from wondering away. When it was too difficult to look after her there she went to a hospital setting where she eventually died. Unfortunately if someone is not of sound mind they cannot be a candidate for MAID so that is a mute point. Although I don’t like the religious aspect of this organization, they are a non-profit which means they are not making money off the backs of the seniors in care. That is the most significant thing.
I heard a phrase today that really impacted me. ‘Deaths of Despair”. Deaths that now occur in our society because there isn’t enough money to help those who are in such need that they literally die of despair. So reading the article on the proposed Dementia Village in Comox and the costs involved, I wonder how many deaths could be avoided if money was redirected in a more just way. The estimated cost is quoted at $52.6 million for 156 beds. I’m not familiar with current costs of ‘one’ bed in a care home situation, but spending $337,179 per bed for 156 people to live in an Alice in Wonderland setting just doesn’t seem equitable when we see so many homeless people living in tents, socially isolated because of Covid to the point where the outcome can’t help but bring on more deaths of despair. On another point, and having once been a Catholic, I don’t want to see any tax dollars put into any religious facility, especially one that has a questionable history of control over life and death. Where does MAID fit into all of this? Since its now the law doesn’t that mean if MAID isn’t allowed that a law is being broken? NO tax dollars should go into this facility until all of these questions are answered.
Thank-you for letting me know about the plans for Dementia Village in Courtenay. My first reaction is to rush to my family to tell them to “NEVER, EVER, put me into such a place!” I feel it would be dishonoring my memory to put me into a place where the important and profound aspect of being human is disrespected by pretending that dementia is in any way a continuation of it. Dementia and Alzheimers’ disease are tragic, and people who have it should be treated with dignity, but not put into a “village” where there is a pretense that they are continuing to live their previous lives when in point of fact they are not. Life is full of challenges and suffering as well as spirituality and incredible beauty – none of this is present to the patient with dementia.
From what I understand most people in our province who are suffering from dementia are well taken care of in Care Homes and I’ve heard that most of them appear to be happy. Let them rest where they are!
If you think that “most people in our province who are suffering from dementia are well taken care of in Care Homes and [you’ve] heard that most of them appear to be happy,” you need to spend some time in a care home and get a more realistic perspective. Covid-19 has exposed the appalling conditions in many care homes, many of which are located in Ontario and Quebec; however, BC also has so-called “care” homes with dreadful conditions such as understaffing, poorly trained staff, arrogant and out-of-touch managers and doctors, little or no accountability, lack of transparency, overmedicating residents to keep them sedated, restraining residents in wheelchairs, attempting to intimidate family members, poor quality and cheap food served to residents, covering up the truth, saying one thing and doing another. I have seen all of the above in the nearly 3 years my mom has been in so-called “care” homes because I have spent a lot of time with my mom, trying to improve her quality of life, as well as advocating for her.
Providence Health Care and Providence Living is still the same old faith-based, dogmatic, narrowly focused imposer of practices that deny people their legal rights. Specifically MAID. Providence opposes current legislative changes which will honor and facilitate advance directives. I object to lobbyist, Providence et al, entering into agreements, receiving tax dollars and being able to circumvent the law and citizens rights.