Home Health Island Health New long-term care home in Victoria with 320 publicly-funded beds

New long-term care home in Victoria with 320 publicly-funded beds

Aiming for private room setup already in the works ahead of COVID-19.

island health, The Summit, long term care
The Summit is a new long-term care home for seniors in the Quadra Village area of Victoria, BC.

Friday July 10, 2020 ~ VICTORIA, BC

by Mary Brooke, B.Sc., editor~ West Shore Voice News

A new long-term care home in Victoria with 320 publicly funded beds opens today July 10 for seniors living with complex health issues and dementia.

The Summit at 955 Hillside Avenue in the Quadra Village neighbourhood was funded with $85 million from the Province. The new facility replaces Oak Bay Lodge and Mt. Tolmie care homes which are at their ‘end of life’, says Tim Orr, Director of Long Term Care at IslandHealth.

Tim Orr, Director of Long Term Care, Island Health
Tim Orr, Director of Long Term Care, Island Health [screenshot]

Orr states in an Island Health promo video that plans for The Summit started more than five years ago to replace two aging facilities that no longer meet current expectations.

Some of the new features of the facility — including private rooms — indicates how the BC Government was already aware of the need for improvements in facility layouts that would reduce the opportunity for the spread of communicable diseases like COVID-19.

Increasing direct-care hours:

“As part of our action plan to increase direct-care hours, we are expanding the availability of long-term and dementia care on Vancouver Island with The Summit,” said Health Minister Adrian Dix in an Island Health news release today.

“We are delighted that so many seniors are going to benefit from person-centered care in this comfortable, home-like environment. We know that a big part of wellness is that sense of feeling connected to others. The Summit will provide a true sense of community for everyone who lives and works here,” said Dix.

Three-year investment:

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The B.C. government is investing more than $1 billion over three years to improve care for seniors, including investments in primary care, home health, long-term care and assisted living. This includes investing $240 million over three years to increase staffing levels in long-term care homes, with the goal of achieving the provincial standard of 3.36 hours per resident day on average across all health authorities.

Additionally, during COVID-19, an adjustment was made that workers are to work at just one site, and not spread their work presence across more than one facility. Minister Dix has addressed the success of that transition in work standards, underpinning that approach by government with $10 million in recent months to cover the difference in pay where care facilities have not offered enough hours or sufficient pay to provide a living wage to care workers.

Provincial standard:

Seniors moving into The Summit will benefit from this commitment, as the long-term care home will be funded at the provincial standard. 

Residents at The Summit will have private bedrooms with ensuite bathrooms, grouped into “houses” (clusters of 16-24 residents). Private rooms offer a significant benefit for residents as an effective way to help keep them safe from the spread of communicable illnesses, such as influenza and the COVID-19 virus.

The majority of deaths due to COVID-19 in BC occured in or connected to long-term care homes where the spread of the virus could not be well managed.

Amenities at The Summit:

dining area, Summit, long term care
Dining area at The Summit long term care facility in Victoria.

The site also includes a hair salon, and a dialysis room to eliminate the need to travel to hospital. Outdoor spaces include patios on every floor, a secure central courtyard on the main floor and a walking path around the property.

“The Summit provides a comfortable and inviting environment for the seniors who will call it home,” said Rob Fleming, MLA for Victoria-Swan Lake. “The CRHD and Island Health have created a space where seniors living with complex health issues and dementia have the comforts of home combined with the supports they need.”

Self-direction and care in resident decision-making is made possible with the private room setup, says Colleen Anderson, a manager oat the long term care facility.

Goal of hours per resident-day:

private room, long term care
There are 320 private rooms at The Summit long-term care facility in Victoria, BC which opened July 10, 2020.

“The Summit long-term care home is an important part of our government’s commitment to improving the care experience of seniors throughout British Columbia,” said Ronna-Rae Leonard, parliamentary secretary for seniors and MLA for Courtenay-Comox.

“This announcement supports government’s goal to meet 3.36 direct care hours per resident-day, which was set by the Province in 2018. This means that residents who most need it will receive help with bathing, feeding and socializing opportunities, and front-line care providers will get the help they need to provide seniors with compassionate, timely care.”

Partnership of Island Health and Capital Regional Hospital District:

The Summit was developed through an innovative partnership between Island Health and the Capital Regional Hospital District (CRHD) and is Island Health’s first such partnership with a regional district for a long-term care home. Island Health is grateful for the CRHD’s support for the broad continuum of care provided in Island Health hospitals and in community settings and for the CRHD’s increasing support to partner on projects that occur beyond hospital sites.

The Capital Regional Hospital District constructed and owns the building and Island Health is leasing The Summit for 25 years.

Construction on The Summit began in 2016 and completed earlier this year. Plans to open the facility in April 2020 were paused to facilitate the building’s use as a possible field hospital during the COVID-19 pandemic. With the oversight of Island Health’s Chief Medical Health Officer Dr Richard Stanwick, The Summit is now ready to open.

Leah Hollins, Island Health
Island Health Chair Leah Hollins at the January 31, 2019 board meeting that was held at the Juan de Fuca center in Colwood. [West Shore Voice News file photo]

“This is such a wonderful day for our seniors who are moving into their new home at The Summit,” said Leah Hollins, Island Health board chair. “It is so meaningful to be able to provide person-centered care in a space that is focused on quality of life and connection. I know that residents and their families will feel at home and well-supported here.”

“Today is an exciting day for residents and their families as they are welcomed into their new home,” said Denise Blackwell, chair, Capital Regional Hospital District.  “We are proud of what we created in support of seniors, knowing they will be cared for in a state-of-the-art facility designed to meet their needs.”

Greater Victoria Eldercare Foundation role:

The Greater Victoria Eldercare Foundation has committed to raising more than $500,000 for therapy equipment and adaptive tools, visiting area/patio furnishings and ongoing therapy program support, as well as gardens for residents and ongoing funding for the Adult Day Program.

“We are happy to help seniors and their families by providing the specialized equipment, furnishings and program support to enhance the health and care experience at The Summit,” said Lori McLeod, Executive Director.  “We look forward to seeing everyone thriving in this beautiful new space.”

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