Health Minister Adrian Dix and Courtenay-Comox MLA Ronna-Rae Leonard announced improvements to local seniors care Wednesday at the Filberg Centre. Scott Stanfield photo

Health Minister Adrian Dix and Courtenay-Comox MLA Ronna-Rae Leonard announced improvements to local seniors care Wednesday at the Filberg Centre. Scott Stanfield photo

Long-term care facility coming to Courtenay

Work on 126-bed facility to get underway later this year

Island Health has announced that Golden Life Management Corp. is the successful proponent to build and operate a new long-term care facility in the Comox Valley.

The Cranbrook-based company plans to start constructing the ocean-view facility later this year near the southern entrance to Courtenay. It will contain 126 publicly funded beds, including 120 residential care beds and two new hospice beds. Four hospice beds will move from The Views at St. Joseph’s to the new facility.

Island Heath anticipates the beds to be occupied as early as 2020. There will be options for palliative care and medical assistance in dying (MAiD).

“This is great news for seniors,” Health Minister Adrian Dix said Wednesday at a news conference at the Filberg Centre. “In conjunction with our action plan to increase direct-care hours, we are expanding the availability of residential and dementia care in the Comox Valley.”

Last March, Island Health had issued a request for proposals (RFP) for 120 long-term beds. Originally, the RFP was for 70 beds.

In addition to the RFP process, the Providence Residential and Community Care Society will take ownership of St. Joseph’s on April 1. The society has an agreement to work with Island Health on a potential campus of care redevelopment plan to make permanent the 21 temporary residential care beds that are in place, and add up to 10 new residential care beds. Furthermore, the hospice beds that are in place will be converted to respite beds. This is in addition to the replacement of 116 residential care beds at The Views residential care facility.

“This is a visionary commitment by the Ministry of Health and Island Health to partner with Providence in bringing innovative dementia care and seniors care solutions to Comox,” Providence president/CEO Fiona Dalton said. “Our planned redevelopment at The Views will provide home-like environments and care that enable stronger emotional connections with the people we serve and help address growing needs for the community.”