Increased access to long-term care is coming to the Comox Valley, thanks to Island Health funding for 20 new beds.
“In these challenging times, all British Columbians deserve to know that high-quality, compassionate long-term care is available when they or their loved ones need it,” said Health Minister Adrian Dix.
“We understand how hard it is right now to safely and properly care for elderly loved ones, and that’s why this investment will help ensure seniors are supported and treated with dignity and respect. This is a good step to providing better care for seniors in the Comox Valley.”
“Families in the Comox Valley want to know their seniors and loved ones are receiving the best care possible,” said Ronna-Rae Leonard, MLA for Courtenay-Comox and Parliamentary Secretary for Seniors to the Minister of Health. “That’s why I appreciate the steps Island Health has taken to address these needs and work to add more long-term care beds for their residents. By joining together, we can help each other in these times, and today shows our commitment and dedication to our community.”
“Providing our aging population with safe and supportive care is a priority for Island Health,” said Leah Hollins, Island Health board chair. “These new beds will create more long-term care spaces for seniors living in the Comox Valley, while supporting efforts to maintain reduced capacity in our hospitals during these uncertain times.”
The addition of the 20 beds is part of Island Health’s longer-term response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Residents in the Island Health region should be acknowledged for the progress made towards flattening the curve and avoiding a surge of cases in our hospitals. However, the Provincial Health Officer has been clear about the unknown impact of a potential second wave of COVID-19 during the fall, when influenza and other respiratory illnesses typically circulate. Creating new spaces in long-term care allows Island Health to move alternate level of care patients out of hospital, continuing to reduce capacity in acute care beds and placing patients in a more appropriate setting to comfortably receive the care they need.
“We are pleased to collaborate with Island Health in responding to an urgent community need,” said Jane Murphy, President & CEO of Providence Residential & Community Care Services Society. “The decision to open this second floor unit was based largely on our value of service — of stepping up even in challenging times. We are committed to the excellent care and safety of our current residents and staff, as well as providing a wonderful environment for the 20 new residents who will come to reside with us. This demonstrates The Views at St. Joseph’s commitment to serving our community and delivering excellent resident care.”
The 20 new beds will be located in a newly refurbished unit at the former St. Joseph’s General Hospital in Comox, adjacent to The Views at St. Joseph’s, an existing long-term care facility operated by Providence Residential and Community Care Services Society. The beds will be funded to meet the province’s target of 3.36 direct care hours per resident day. The 20 beds will be operational at St. Joseph’s until summer 2021, when 120 permanent, publicly funded beds will open in the Comox Valley at Ocean Front Village.
“This additional funding for 20 new long-term care beds demonstrates our commitment to provide the best care possible while we continue to respond to COVID-19,” said Mark Blandford, Island Health’s Executive Director of Primary Care and Seniors Health. “We appreciate the opportunity to work closely with Providence Residential & Community Care Services Society and know they will continue to provide exceptional care to their residents.”
Renovations to the unit are currently underway and it is expected the beds will be ready to accept residents in May.
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