The provincial government announced today that people in the Lower Mainland will benefit from improved long-term care and community services as Providence Health Care prepares to build the new St. Vincent’s Heather long-term care home.
“As people age, they want to know they will have access to the right care services that will allow them to stay healthy, active and safe in their community,” said Adrian Dix, Minister of Health. “St. Vincent’s Heather will offer vital long-term care for seniors and wraparound services that will support their happiness and well-being in a home designed to meet their needs. This includes culturally safe living spaces and services for Indigenous Elders, such as a sacred space for smudging ceremonies with access to traditional medicine gardens for spiritual ceremonies.”
Dix made the announcement Wednesday at Providence’s Honoria Conway assisted living residence, which is adjacent to where the new care home will be constructed. He was joined by George Heyman, MLA for Vancouver-Fairview; Mark Blandford, President and CEO, Providence Living and Vice President, Seniors Care, Providence Health Care; and Dr. Kenneth J. Tekano, Physician Program Director, Long-Term Care Head, Division of Long-Term Care, Department of Family Practice, Providence Health Care and Regional Medical Director, Long-Term Care, Assisted Living and Supported Housing, Vancouver Coastal Health.
Care home will have 240 beds
St. Vincent’s Heather will be built on the former site of St. Vincent’s Hospital, which served the Vancouver community for 65 years. Providence Health Care, in partnership with the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Vancouver, is contributing the land to build the 240-bed long-term care home that will replace other beds at aging Providence care homes. The project is currently in the procurement phase. Rezoning with the City of Vancouver is expected to complete in summer 2023, with construction expected to start in fall 2025 and complete in fall 2028.
“Our goal at Providence is transformational change in the long-term care sector,” said Fiona Dalton, President and CEO, Providence Health Care. “We want to drive innovation to create conditions to provide the very best care to seniors and the frail elderly – support residents to live their lives with freedom, choice and dignity. That means transitioning caregiving from a task-based approach to a resident- and family-directed approach.”
Couples and families can stay together
The 13-storey facility will include 20 ‘households’ that will accommodate 12 residents each in single-bed rooms and include the social and recreational spaces found in a typical home, such as a living room, dining room and activity space. Every room will have a wheelchair accessible ensuite, and some specially designed suites with connecting doors will allow couples and families to remain together.
The care home will include community spaces on the main floor allowing residents, families, visitors and staff to access recreational, social and health services. The development will also have other amenities for residents, families and the community, including a community garden, 37-space childcare centre, a Catholic Chapel, a sacred space for worship, reflection and spiritual practice including Indigenous ceremonial practices, community hall, library, theatre, café, grocery store, creative and exercise/therapy space, hairdressing services, and primary care services.
“Older adults in British Columbia have historically been neglected by our system of care and housing for those affected by neurocognitive disorders and other complex medical and social needs,” said Dr. Tekano. “I am thrilled that Providence is being supported by the Ministry of Health and Vancouver Coastal Health to advance our mission to provide dignified homes and a new approach to caring for seniors with these challenges. I hope this is only the first of many steps forward to a new way for people to live with dementia.”
This story was adapted from a Government of BC news release, which you can read here.
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