PEOPLE on 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, on Wednesday. “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.”
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 in the procurement phase. Rezoning with the City of Vancouver is expected to be complete in summer 2023, with construction expected to start in fall 2025 and be 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.”
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 bathroom. 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. These spaces will include: a community hall; café; non-denominational sacred space for worship, reflection and spiritual practice, including Indigenous ceremonial practices; creative, exercise and therapy space; hairdressing services; a 37-space child care centre; and dental and primary-care services.
Long-term care homes provide care and supervision for people with complex care needs, who can no longer live safely and independently at home, through a range of services delivered by well-trained, compassionate and caring staff.
To meet growing demand over the past five years, government has invested approximately $2 billion to expand and improve quality care for seniors in British Columbia, including investments in primary care, home health, long-term care and assisted living.
Harwinder Sandhu, Parliamentary Secretary for Seniors’ Services and Long-Term Care, said: “People want to know they will have access to more than just a bed when they can no longer live safely and independently at home. That’s why projects like St. Vincent’s Heather are so important – they provide compassionate long-term care services for people in accessible, supportive spaces, as well as community services, so people can age with dignity and build a comfortable home away from home, while remaining close to their loved ones.”