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

The Millstone River in Nanaimo. (News Bulletin file photo)
Regional district looks at value of Nanaimo’s natural assets

Report focused on the Millstone River could inform future decisions on corporate asset management

Protesters gather along the Pearson Bridge on Terminal Avenue in downtown Nanaimo last month as part of an event called Worth More Standing. (News Bulletin file photo)
LETTER TO THE EDITOR: B.C. hasn’t managed forests properly

Protesters opposing logging in Fairy Creek speak for many British Columbians, say letter writers

Nanaimo singer Victoria Vaughn recently released an EP with local producer Austin Penner. (Photo courtesy Taylor Murray)
Nanaimo singer and recent VIU grad releases EP about becoming an adult

Victoria Vaughn’s ‘Growing Pains’ recorded with local producer Austin Penner

The B.C. Centre for Disease Control has listed Harbour Air and Air Canada flights to and from Nanaimo, from April 3, 4 and 12, on its list of flights with COVID-19. (News Bulletin file)
COVID-19 cases reported for Air Canada, Harbour Air flights, says disease control centre

Nanaimo flights for April 3, 4 and 12 listed on BCCDC’s list of flights with COVID-19

Rebates through Clean B.C.’s Better Homes New Construction program are available, says the City of Nanaimo. (Vancouver Island University photo)
Energy-efficient home builds in Nanaimo eligible for up to $15K in rebates

All building permits issued on, or after, April 1, 2020 eligible, says City of Nanaimo

Pat Kauwell, a semi-retired construction manager, lives in his fifth-wheel trailer on Maxey Road because that’s what he can afford on his pension, but a Regional District of Nanaimo bylaw prohibits using RVs as permanent dwellings, leaving Kauwell and others like him with few affordable housing options. (Chris Bush/News Bulletin)
Housing crunch or not, it’s illegal to live in an RV in Nanaimo

Regional District of Nanaimo bylaw forcing pensioner to move RV he calls home off private farm land

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Chrystia Freeland responds to a question during Question Period in the House of Commons Tuesday December 8, 2020 in Ottawa. The stage is set for arguably the most important federal budget in recent memory, as the Liberal government prepares to unveil its plan for Canada’s post-pandemic recovery even as a third wave of COVID-19 rages across the country. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Election reticence expected to temper political battle over federal budget

Opposition parties have laid out their own demands in the weeks leading up to the budget

Noel Brown, Snuneymuxw First Nation carver, observes the house post he carved, which now is situated in front of the Kw’umut Lelum centre on Centre Street in Nanaimo. (Karl Yu/News Bulletin)
House post representative of work of Kw’umut Lelum in Nanaimo

Snuneymuxw First Nation artist Noel Brown’s carved red cedar house post unveiled Friday, April 16

(Black Press file photo).
UPDATED: Multiple stabbings at Vancouver Island bush party

Three youths hospitalized after an assault in Comox

A syringe is loaded with COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination clinic run by Vancouver Coastal Health, in Richmond, B.C., Saturday, April 10, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C. to open up COVID vaccine registration to all B.C. residents 18+ in April

Registration does not equate to being able to book an appointment

Russ Ball (left) and some of the team show off the specimen after they were able to remove it Friday. Photo supplied
Courtenay fossil hunter finds ancient turtle on local river

The specimen will now make its home at the Royal BC Museum

Selina Robinson is shown in Coquitlam, B.C., on Friday November 17, 2017. British Columbia’s finance minister says her professional training as a family therapist helped her develop the New Democrat government’s first budget during the COVID-19 pandemic, which she will table Tuesday. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. finance minister to table historic pandemic-challenged deficit budget

Budget aims to take care of people during pandemic while preparing for post-COVID-19 recovery, Robinson said

Each spring, the Okanagan Fest-of-Ale is held in Penticton. This year, as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the festival will not be held. However, beer is still available. How much do you know about this beverage? (pxfuel.com)
QUIZ: How much do you really know about beer?

Put your knowledge to the test with this short quiz

Most Read