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

Elvira D’Angelo, 92, waits to receive her COVID-19 vaccination shot at a clinic in Montreal, Sunday, March 7, 2021, as the COVID-19 pandemic continues in Canada and around the world. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes
110 new cases of COVID-19 in Interior Health

Provincial health officers announced 1,005 new cases throughout B.C.

Kristian Camero and Jessica Wood, seen here, co-own The Black Cauldron with Stephen Barton. The new Nelson restaurant opened earlier this month while indoor dining is restricted by the province. Photo: Tyler Harper
A restaurant opens in Nelson, and no one is allowed inside

The Black Cauldron opened while indoor dining is restricted in B.C.

These two city-owned houses on Railway Avenue in the Railtown district will be sold. Photo: Bill Metcalfe
City of Nelson will sell two derelict houses in Railtown

Purchasers will be responsible for demolition and slope stability issues

First-year Selkirk College student Terra-Mae Box is one of many talented writers who will read their work at the Black Bear Review’s annual (virtual) launch on April 22. Photo: Submitted
A grant from the province will fund the installation of lighting and electrical in the stage at Cottonwood Park and the construction of a washroom. Photo: Bill Metcalfe
City of Nelson receives grant for washroom and electrical at Cottonwood Falls Park stage

Grant will also fund concession stand and parking improvements

Rainbow trouts thrashing with life as they’re about to be transferred to the largest lake of their lives, even though it’s pretty small. These rainbows have a blue tinge because they matched the blue of their hatchery pen, but soon they’ll take on the green-browns of their new home at Lookout Lake. (Zoe Ducklow/News Staff)
VIDEO: B.C. lake stocked with hatchery trout to delight of a seniors fishing club

The Cherish Trout Scouts made plans to come back fishing soon

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

Royal Inland Hospital in Kamloops. (Dave Eagles/Kamloops This Week file photo)
RCMP intercept vehicle fleeing with infant taken from Kamloops hospital

The baby was at the hospital receiving life-saving care

Vancouver Police Const. Deepak Sood is under review by the Independent Investigations Office of B.C. after making comments to a harm reduction advocate Sunday, April 11. (Screen grab)
VIDEO: Vancouver officer convicted of uttering threats under watchdog review again

Const. Deepak Sood was recorded Sunday saying ‘I’ll smack you’ and ‘go back to selling drugs’ to a harm reduction advocate

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry prepares a daily update on the coronavirus pandemic, April 21, 2020. (B.C. Government)
B.C.’s COVID-19 infection rate persists, 1,005 new cases Friday

Hospitalization up to 425, six more virus-related deaths

Premier John Horgan receives a dose of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine at the pharmacy in James Bay Thrifty’s Foods in Victoria, B.C., on Friday, April 16, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
B.C. Premier John Horgan gets AstraZeneca shot, encourages others

27% of residents in B.C. have now been vaccinated against COVID-19

The Nautical Dog Cafe at Skaha marina is getting its patio ready in hopes Mother Nature will provide where provincial restrictions have taken away indoor dining. (Facebook)
‘A lot of instability’: B.C. restaurants in layoff limbo

As COVID-19 cases stay high, restaurants in British Columbia are closed to indoor dining

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau looks on as Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland responds to a question during a news conference on Parliament Hill in Ottawa, Tuesday, Aug. 18, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Expectations high as Trudeau Liberals get ready to unveil first pandemic budget

The Liberals will look to thread an economic needle with Monday’s budget

Since April 4, 38 flights with COVID-19 cases have departed from Vancouver International Airport, while 23 arrived. (Phil McLachlan/Capital News)
Vancouver the largest source of domestic flights with COVID-19 cases: data

This month alone, 38 flights with COVID-19 cases have departed from Vancouver International Airport, while 23 arrived

Most Read