Providence aims to revolutionize B.C. seniors care at groundbreaking ‘dementia village

Goal is open the site at former St. Joseph’s General Hospital grounds in Comox by spring 2024

According to Providence, the long-term home will replace The Views in about three years’ time.

According to Providence, the long-term home will replace The Views in about three years’ time.

A revolution in the way we take care of seniors is on track to emerge on Vancouver Island by spring 2024.

Providence Living’s “dementia village” — the first on the Island and just the second in all of B.C. — is touted as the province’s first such publicly funded development of its type.

The $52.6-million project will be home to 156 residents, with design and care that promotes resident autonomy and choice, freedom of movement and access to the outdoors, and everyday living that brings joy and engagement with the broader community, including children.

RELATED: Former Comox hospital turning into Vancouver Island’s first ‘dementia village’

RELATED: Inside Canada’s first dementia village, opening next month in B.C.

Amenities at the site of the former St. Joseph’s General Hospital will include an art studio, community hall and spaces where residents, family and friends can spend time together. Additionally, there will also be a daycare; Comox Valley Children’s Day Care Society will partner with Providence and operate the facility with 32 spaces for children.

“We really believe this project will be a major benefit to the town and its residents,” noted Chris Kelsey, director and officer for the organization.

After feedback from the community, it was determined the project will not be built higher than two storeys — 3.5 acres of land will be used to support a horizontal development, said Jane Murphy, president and CEO of Providence Living.

“Households within the village are designed to each to accommodate 12 residents. At courtyard level, each household has a front door into the courtyard to promote a feeling of home and direct access to outdoors. On the second level, households will have direct access to a deck and an elevator to the courtyard.”

Due to the slope of the property, she noted there will be a partial entry-level floor off Rodello Street in order to support some underground parking.

Following community consultation, Murphy explained Providence received many favourable responses to the project, particularly the need for additional support for seniors within the community.

“(The project) will minimize the impact with its height — it’s two-storey height with a flat roof,” she added.

“The challenge is certainly sighting and the other challenge is the existing buildings. They need to stay intact until the new village is open. In part, because there is care being provided to seniors … and the acute care building also supplies the utilities for The Views and we’re also providing care in the acute care building. There really isn’t any other options,” noted Murphy.

Providence’s status as a faith-based organization raised questions about whether the facility would be LGBTQIA+ inclusive and if residents would have the option to access MAiD (Medical Assistance in Dying) if that was their wish.

“We do not discriminate on any ground — we feel privileged to care for the unique individuals that wish to live in our homes and consider it a privilege to come alongside them and be respectful for their choices in their lives,” Murphy said.

Providence works within the MAiD policies of the province and Island Health. An assessment can be done on site.

“We support that. Based on our ethics, the provision of MAiD is provided elsewhere and we manage that in a very careful and respectful way working within the policies of Island Health. We have had a few cases … that we respectfully work with that, the physician, the family and the resident to have that service at a site that is able to provide that.”

For more news from Vancouver Island and beyond delivered daily into your inbox, please click here.



photos@comoxvalleyrecord.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

A group of youth in Kelowna's Knox Mountain Park are suspected as having violated the B.C. Wildlife Act by harassing a pair of nesting bald eagles with a drone Friday, April 16, 2021. (Conservation Officer Service photo)
Nesting bald eagles harassed by youth-piloted drone in Kelowna

Conservation Officers are hoping to hear from anyone who witnessed the Knox Mountain incident

Nick Clements captured a photo of the Northern Lights over Oyama Friday night, April 16, 2021. (Nick Clements photo)
PHOTOS: Northern Lights colour Okanagan night

Residents saw the dazzling green aurora borealis throughout the valley Friday night

Vernon's spring leaf pickup program is underway. (File photo)
Vernon rakes up residents’ bagged leaves

Pickup this week, must be in clear plastic bags

Coldstream students took over the Your Letters page in the April 9, 2021, edition of the Vernon Morning Star to offer advice to adults about COVID-19. Interior Health took notice and offered their praise. (Vernon Morning Star)
Coldstream students’ COVID advice praised by Interior Health

Grade 2 and 3 classes from Coldstream Elementary took over the Morning Star’s Letters page April 9

Vernon Girl Guide Mabel Smith sells cookies to staff at Watkin Motors Ford prior to the suspension of sales. (Facebook Photo)
Vernon Ford dealership shines with diamond award, again

Watkin Motors earns Ford of Canada president’s award for superior customer service

Flow Academy is located at 1511 Sutherland Avenue in Kelowna. (Michael Rodriguez - Capital News)
Black Press Media Weekly Roundup: Top headlines this week

Here’s a quick roundup of the stories that made headlines across the Okanagan, from April 11 to 16

Vernon Jubilee Hospital. (File photo)
COVID-19 outbreak declared over in surgical unit of Vernon hospital

The outbreak affected four staff, 10 patients and led to three deaths in just over two weeks

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Pall Bearers carrying the coffin of the Duke of Edinburgh, followed by the Prince of Wales, left and Princess Anne, right, into St George’s Chapel for his funeral, at Windsor Castle, in Windsor, England, Saturday April 17, 2021. (Danny Lawson/Pool via AP)
Trudeau announces $200K donation to Duke of Edinburgh award as Prince Philip laid to rest

A tribute to the late prince’s ‘remarkable life and his selfless service,’ the Prime Minister said Saturday

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good
Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

B.C. homeowners are being urged to take steps to prepare for the possibility of a flood by moving equipment and other assets to higher ground. (J.R. Rardon)
‘Entire province faces risk’: B.C. citizens urged to prepare for above-average spring flooding

Larger-than-normal melting snowpack poses a threat to the province as warmer weather touches down

Vancouver-based Doubleview Gold Corp. is developing claims in an area north of Telegraph Creek that occupies an important place in Tahltan oral histories, said Chad Norman Day, president of the Tahltan Central Government. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO)
B.C. Indigenous nation opposes mineral exploration in culturally sensitive area

There’s “no way” the Tahltan would ever support a mine there, says Chad Norman Day, president of its central government

Stz’uminus Elder George Harris, Ladysmith Mayor Aaron Stone, and Stz’uminus Chief Roxanne Harris opened the ceremony. (Cole Schisler photo)
Symbolic red dresses rehung along B.C. highway after vandals tore them down

Leaders from Stz’uminus First Nation and the Town of Ladysmith hung new dresses on Sat. April 17

A Western toadlet crosses the centre line of Elk View Road in Chilliwack on Aug. 26, 2010. A tunnel underneath the road has since been installed to help them migrate cross the road. Saturday, April 24 is Save the Frogs Day. (Jenna Hauck/ Progress File)
Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of April 18 to 24

Save the Frogs Day, Love Your Thighs Day and Scream Day are all coming up this week

Most Read