Interior Health has approved a significant investment in seniors’ care through a competitive bid process for development of 243 residential care beds in communities across the region, including 48 in Kamloops.
“By adding more beds throughout the Interior, we’re ensuring that seniors can have the best care possible closer to their loved ones,” said Health Minister Terry Lake. “This announcement also aligns with our strategic vision of strengthening supports in the community.”
Following a review of communities, the following areas will see new beds through the bid process:
· Cranbrook 30 beds.
· Kamloops 48 beds.
· Penticton 35 beds.
· Salmon Arm 60 beds.
· Williams Lake 70 beds.
The exact locations of the new beds will be determined by the competitive bid process.
“The addition of these beds is an important investment for seniors and ensures those needing this high level of care will receive it in the best setting possible,” said Darryl Plecas, parliamentary secretary to the minister of health for seniors.
As well, while not included in this bid process, Interior Health plans to open an additional 14 beds in 100 Mile House within previously shelled in space at Fischer Place/Mill Site Lodge in spring 2017, bringing the number of beds in that community to 93.
“This announcement is the result of considerable planning and review,” said Erwin Malzer, IHA board chairman. “While our goal is to help individuals live independently as long as possible, residential care continues to play a vital role in supporting the needs of an aging population. This investment is targeting those communities where we anticipate the largest population growth among seniors and increased demand for health services.”
The review that Interior Health conducted looked at current demographics, wait times, referral patterns, complexity of residents, and population projections.
“This announcement and the pending procurement process will mean expanded housing options for seniors in several communities where our research shows additional capacity is required,” said Cindy Kozak-Campbell, executive director, residential services.
“Today’s care homes provide private rooms; wide, bright hallways; more intimate dining and recreation areas; and focus on environments that will best support those with complex needs, such as residents with dementia.”
Thursday’s announcement follows recent contract awards for 100 residential care beds to be completed in Kelowna early next year and 85 residential care beds in Vernon, which are expected to open mid-2017.