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UPDATED: New beds for seniors, people with mental health issues announced
Seniors with complex care needs and people with mental health and substance abuse issues will be treated in two brand new local facilities — one on each end of the Tri-Cities — Fraser Health announced last week.
In Coquitlam, Société du Foyer Maillard has received funding from Fraser Health to redevelop its current facility at 1010 Alderson Ave. in Coquitlam. The redevelopment project will add 80 new complex care beds for high-needs seniors in addition to the 45 beds currently provided in the 44-year-old facility for a total of 125 beds at that end of the Tri-Cities.
And in Port Coquitlam, Baltic Properties will build a new complex at 770 Dominion Ave. that will provide 136 complex care beds for seniors and a 24-bed facility for people with mental health and substance abuse issues. The two facilities will be separate and stand-alone within the larger complex.
SERVING AN AGING POPULATION
Keith McBain, executive director for Residential Care and Assisted Living at Fraser Health, said the Tri-Cities was targeted for new facilities, along with south Surrey and White Rock, because of the growth in the seniors' population.
"When we looked over the three communities, they told us they were in the greatest need of residential care," McBain said Friday.
According to Fraser Health statistics, the population of the region is expected to grow by 20% by 2020 and most of the increase will be seniors age 75 years and older.
In all, four projects were announced for a total of 427 beds for a $34-million investment.
The redevelopment of Foyer Maillard will be good news for Maillardville, says Jean Riou, chair of Société du Foyer Maillard.
"This is going to be a top-notch building for care and we are gong to triple the number of our work hours we are going to offer," Riou said, noting that new nurses and care aids will be needed.
Plans are to demolish the site after spending six months working to relocate current residents, including about 19 people living in room-and-board suites.
Family members have already been contacted to make sure the transition is smooth, Riou said. Transition teams will work with residents to find new accommodation and jobs for Hospital Employees Union and the BC Nurses Union employees.
Meanwhile, day-to-day operations will cease at Foyer Maillard by the end of March 2014 to allow for the development of the new facility, which is expected to open in fall 2015 and could cost up to $38 million to build. The new building will take up more of the site but will only be three and a half storeys high, Riou said.
More details will be made available soon at www.foyermaillard.com.
NEW FACILITY FOR PORT COQUITLAM
In PoCo, the new residential development will have 136 beds for the frail elderly and 24 beds for people suffering from severe mental illness and substance abuse issues, said Will McKay, managing partner of Baltic Properties. As well, he said a rezoning will be required for the $33 million project, which could open in October, 2015 if all goes as planned.
"That's tight but it's achievable," McKay said,
When it's open, the facility will employ up to 220 people with the equivalent of 160 to 170 full-time jobs, and play a large part in caring for elderly people, including those with dementia, as well as adults suffering from mental health and substance abuse issues (they'll have to be sober before they are admitted).
"The city of Port Coquitlam is excited about the project. It is a pretty big development for the city and it generates a lot of economic benefits and also ongoing stable employment. These things pay a lot of people and the wages are good," McKay acknowledged.
Baltic Properties has experience operating residential care facilities, including one in Surrey that includes a unit for people dealing with a traumatic brain injury.