Wednesday March 22, 2023 | COLWOOD, BC [Click here to see the March 19, 2023 longer version of this article]
by Mary P Brooke, B.Sc. | Island Social Trends
A three-story long-term care facility coming to the west shore in 2027 will provide 306 beds to the community. Of those, 260 beds will be for seniors who wish to age in place in their community.
- As well, there will be 26 beds for persons with brain injury/behavioural and mental health and addictions needs.
- Another 20 beds will be for hospice care.
- Job creation for health-care workers is also one of the benefits. An adjacent 37-space child care centre will support local workers and foster inter-generational connections.
- The facility will also offer an adult day program, allowing individuals to live independently in the community while receiving essential services to support their health and well-being close to home.
- A bistro within the facility will provide a welcoming space for residents to socialize and enjoy meals in a comfortable setting.
- On-site hairdressing and therapy services will be available to enhance the quality of life for residents.
“This comprehensive care facility demonstrates our commitment to providing high-quality, tailored care to the diverse needs of our community, ensuring the well-being and health of British Columbians,” says a Health Ministry spokesperson.
The capital cost of the project is $224 million, with the Capital Regional Hospital District (CRHD) contributing approximately $67 million and the Province investing $157 million.
Meeting the need:
BC Health Minister Adrian Dix was in Colwood on March 16 to announce the procurement phase for the project.
The new beds will add to the 811 long-term care beds already owned and operated by Island Health. Including contracted beds (through third party facilities), the total number of long-term care beds now on Vancouver Island is 2,170.
“Ensuring that seniors in BC are able to live independently for as long as safely possible and have access to comfortable, home-like care services when they need it is a top priority for our government,” said Dix last week.
“That’s why we continue to invest in projects such as this Westshore long-term care project, to meet the growing demands for high-quality long-term community-based care,” he said.
Former Colwood Mayor Dave Saunders says a recent independent report by Healthy West Shore (a Saunders Family Foundation initiative) showed a need for 166 long-term care beds in the Greater Victoria region. So this addition of 260 beds certainly appears to cover that.
Last week’s announcement was made outdoors on a cold but sunny afternoon in front of Colwood City Hall.
The provincially-hosted event was emceed by local MLA Mitzi Dean (Esquimalt-Metchosin) and attended by Island Health Chair Leah Hollins and Island Health CEO Kathy MacNeil, Colwood Mayor Doug Kobayashi and Colwood Councillors Kim Jordison and Misty Olsen, Metchosin Mayor Marie-Térèse Little, Oak Bay Mayor Kevin Murdoch who chairs the Capital Regional District (CRD) Hospital Board, City of Langford Councillor Lillian Szpak, Sooke School District 62 (SD62) Chair Ravi Parmar and SD62 Trustee Russ Chipps (Beecher Bay Chief), and former Colwood Mayor Dave Saunders who is president of the Saunders Family Foundation which has been running the Health West Shore project.
Last week MLA Mitzi Dean said she was very excited to be there with the gathered leaders for the day’s milestone achievement. Dean said people in the west shore community and across the province “want assurance that they and their loved ones will have access to high quality health care where and when they need it”.
Mitzi Dean is also the province’s Minister of Children and Family Development. She worked for over 10 years in the family support sector before becoming an MLA in 2017.
Island Health Chair Leah Hollins noted the partnership and collaboration between governments and Island Health “to come together to deliver this innovative long-term care facility”.
It’s about “looking to the future” so loved ones can stay “here in the west shore”, said the MLA who has represented Esquimalt, Colwood, Metchosin and View Royal since 2017. She gave a shout out to the “developers at Royal Bay and the former Mayor of Colwood (Rob Martin) and Dave Saunders … and many others” who have been supporting the work.
Dean said the project location will be “bustling” in a beautiful part of her riding there in Royal Bay, noting the child care centre and the increasing amount of housing being built in the area.
The three-story facility has entered the procurement phase and will be located near the corner of Metchosin Road and Latoria Boulevard in the Royal Bay area of Colwood. Construction is expected to begin in 2025 and be completed in 2027.
The facility will be on a two-hectare (five acres) parcel of land, recently acquired by the Capital Regional Hospital District (CRHD). Island Health will lease the land and build, own and operate the new facility.
===== ABOUT ISLAND SOCIAL TRENDS:
Island Social Trends is a professional news portal at islandsocialtrends.ca .
Fully online since mid-2020, Island Social Trends emerged from the extensive groundwork of previous print publications in the west shore, all similarly published by Brookeline Publishing House Inc: MapleLine Magazine (2008-2010), Sooke Voice News (2011-2013), and West Shore Voice News (2014-2020).
Since 2008, journalist, photojournalist and editor Mary P Brooke has taken a socioeconomic lens to news analysis about the west shore and south Vancouver Island region, including BC provincial news, and national news impacts. She is a professional communicator, with a Certificate in Public Relations and career-long credentials in journalism and publishing. MS Brooke holds a B.Sc. in health science and community education.