Housing project gets funds
Okotoks: Tudor Manor rates capped at $1,700
By: By Tanya Kostiw
| Posted: Wednesday, Jan 04, 2012 10:43 am
Foothills residents requiring affordable accommodations and care will benefit from funds the Province recently allocated to the cause.
Tudor Manor, an assisted living facility under construction in Okotoks, received about $5.2 million through the provincial government’s Affordable Supportive Living Initiative (ASLI), which enables 52 beds to be designated as affordable assisted living for 22-32 years. The facility previously received ASLI funding for 100 beds to be affordable assisted living.
The new funding means all 152 beds in the facility are covered and resident charges will be capped at $1,700 per month which includes everything from care to meals and accommodation, explained Marco Siciliano, president and CEO of the Brenda Strafford Foundation, the charitable organization building Tudor Manor.
“Everybody recognized that the need was really strong in that area and so I think it’s a great thing,” he said. “It basically means that there’s 152 spaces for seniors that need care everyday that is going to be affordable.”
The grant will cover about half of the construction costs, while the foundation funds the rest of the project. The beds will be contracted out through Alberta Health Services.
If the foundation didn’t receive the grant, the beds would have been private, Siciliano explained. While there are many private accommodation options, this guarantees an affordable alternative, he said.
The facility was originally expected to be completed this month, but construction delays have pushed the opening until June of 2012, he said. There are more than 200 people on the waiting list.
One of the people on the waiting list is Diana Locke’s 58-year-old brother, who suffers from a brain injury and requires care. Locke welcomed the funding news and said the facility will enable people such as her brother who need care to remain in their community among their family and support groups.
“Having disabilities of his nature, it really helps him to keep that sense of balance of what he knows and what’s familiar to him and his support group in his community,” she explained.
He currently lives with Locke and her family and receives care at home under a self-managed care program, but will require more care as his condition worsens, she said. Aside from Tudor Manor, there are no other local accommodations for him, as many care facilities will not accept people under the age of 65, she explained.
“That leaves a big hole in our community for people with disabilities that don’t fall into that seniors category,” she said.
Locke has worked in the senior services field and said seniors and people with disabilities are living longer with illnesses. There are not enough housing and supportive programs to accommodate these people and the need for more care facilities will only increase, she said.
“There’s just a huge need for (housing for) people with disabilities, especially adults with disabilities, as well as the senior sector to have affordable accommodations.”
The need for more seniors housing is one of the biggest issues Highwood MLA George Groeneveld hears about from constituents and has been on his radar for eight years, he said.
“The long-term care (issue) has been a bug in my rug for quite some time.”
Groeneveld said he was pleased with the funding allocation for Tudor Manor, but believes a government long-term care facility is needed somewhere between Okotoks and High River.
People who require long-term care using up acute care beds in hospitals is a problem in Highwood just as it is all over the province and needs to be addressed, he said. Additional long-term care facilities would help reduce hospital wait times, he added.
“To me the big issue still is the people that should be in extended care are occupying our acute beds.”
As the population continues to age, he said he anticipates the accommodation need will only increase.
“We’re just seeing the tip of the iceberg here, I think.”
For information on Tudor Manor, contact the Brenda Strafford Foundation at 403-444-7222.