Interest growing in new supportive living facility
Health: High River District Health Care Foundation reports to community
By: By Tanya Kostiw
| Posted: Wednesday, Jun 06, 2012 01:13 pm
Plans for the new Sunshine Village supportive living facility in High River were unveiled during the High River District Health Care Foundationís report to the community at the High River Hospital on May 27.
About 60 people attended the event to learn more about High Riverís new supportive living facility and an update on the hospital foundationís work.
The Province is contributing $7.4 million to the facility which will include 108 assisted supportive living suites designated with level four care and 68 private suites. The provincial long term care rate caps the assisted living costs at $1,700 a month.
Rates for the private suites have not yet been set, but recent prices in the companyís other facilities are about $2,500 for a one bedroom unit and $2,900 for two bedrooms with one resident, said Stacey Dick, director of operations for Continuum HealthCare, the company building the facility.
Interested residents, primarily from High River, have been put on a list for more information about the private suites and some want to put down deposits, she explained.
ďIím surprised actually, at the level of response already for the High River community when weíre this far out on the building,Ē she said.
Alberta Health Services determines who will occupy the assisted living suites based on a waiting list of people in the zone who require care.
Although they donít need as much care as those in a long term care facility, residents in the Sunshine Village units are deemed to require level four care who can have complex needs as long as they are stable. They might require help with meals and medication and need two people to assist with transfers.
The needs of residents living in the private suites wonít be as complex and are the equivalent to supportive living level three.
Government and Continuum HealthCare officials broke ground on Sunshine Village in March and the facility is anticipated to open in late 2013. Tudor Manor, another level four facility with 152 beds, is slated to open in Okotoks this year.
More seniorsí housing is needed in the area and the new High River facility will be a significant addition to the community, said Michael Brown, the High River District Health Care Foundationís executive director.
The foundation is not involved in the project, but receives many questions about the facility, he added.
ďWe thought letís give this company an opportunity to explain to our donors what theyíre doing and obviously by the turnout, it was a question that people are interested in,Ē Brown said.
High River residents Fay Beaton and Myrna Dickson are looking to the future and said they wanted to learn more about the facilityís assisted living options. Both women said there is a need for more seniorsí housing in the community.
ďThere has been for years and honestly, I think we could probably do with another (facility),Ē said Beaton.
During the foundationís community report, Lise Brisebois Blouin, central community and rural health director for Alberta Health Servicesí Calgary Zone, gave an update on hospital operations and its busy 75-bed, long-term care unit.
There is a long-term plan to move this unit out of the hospital, but the government hasnít provided any updates on this, she said.
Housing this unit on the acute car floor is not ideal and it would be better suited in a stand-alone facility because it would be more comfortable and easier for residents, she said.
This past year, 10 new beds were added to the acute care unit for patients waiting to be admitted into long-term care or an assisted living environment.
Services at the hospital have grown and although the effects of the new hospital opening in south Calgary arenít known, the services arenít in danger, Brisebois Blouin said. The biggest issue the hospital is facing now is space constraints, she added.
The High River District Health Care Foundation has been essential in the operation of the hospital. Last year it raised about $487,426 through donations and fundraising activities. The foundation disbursed about $225,000 for local health care enhancements and committed nearly $130,000 to future projects.