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Additional residential care beds approved for Interior Health

Image Credit: Contributed/Interior Health
September 09, 2016 - 10:40 AM

THOMPSON-OKANAGAN - Interior Health’s Board of Directors has approved a significant investment in seniors’ care through a competitive bid process announced today for the development of 243 residential care beds in communities across Interior Health.

“By adding more beds throughout the Interior, we’re ensuring that seniors can have the best care possible closer to their loved ones,” Health Minister Terry Lake said. “This announcement also aligns with our strategic vision of strengthening supports in the community.”

Following a thorough review of communities, the following areas will see new beds through the bid process:

Cranbrook: 30 beds
Kamloops: 48 beds
Penticton: 35 beds
Salmon Arm: 60 beds
Williams Lake: 70 beds          
The exact locations of the new beds will be determined by the competitive bid process.

“The addition of these beds is an important investment for seniors and ensures those needing this high level of care will receive it in the best setting possible," Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Health for Seniors, Darryl Plecas said.

As well, while not included in this bid process, Interior Health plans to open an additional 14 beds in 100 Mile House within previously shelled in space at Fischer Place/Mill Site Lodge in spring 2017, bringing the number of beds in that community to 93.

“This announcement is the result of considerable planning and review,” Interior Health board chair Erwin Malzer, said. “While our goal is to help individuals live independently as long as possible, residential care continues to play a vital role in supporting the needs of an aging population. This investment is targeting those communities where we anticipate the largest population growth among seniors and increased demand for health services.”

The review that Interior Health conducted looked at current demographics, wait times, referral patterns, complexity of residents, and population projections.

“This announcement and the pending procurement process will mean expanded housing options for seniors in several communities where our research shows additional capacity is required,” Executive Director of Residential Services, Cindy Kozak-Campbell said. “Today’s care homes provide private rooms; wide, bright hallways; more intimate dining and recreation areas; and focus on environments that will best support those with complex needs, such as residents with dementia.”

Today’s announcement follows recent contract awards for 100 new residential care beds to be completed in Kelowna early next year and 85 new residential care beds in Vernon, which are expected to open mid-2017.

Interior Health currently has 5,653 residential care beds, providing 24/7 care and support for individuals with complex care needs who are no longer able to live at home independently or with supports. This includes frail and elderly individuals with chronic conditions, such as those with dementia, whose needs may change over time.

To ensure the competitive bid process is as timely as possible, procurement activities will begin this month with a Request for Proposals. It is anticipated contracts will be awarded by mid-winter and new beds will be completed by summer 2018.

As part of its commitment to enhance cultural safety and provide culturally appropriate care in all service areas, Interior Health will require proponents to develop a plan that includes engagement of local communities including First Nations stakeholders during development of the new beds. In addition, Interior Health’s Aboriginal Health team will be involved in the procurement process.

Interior Health’s plan for residential care services supports the Ministry of Health’s strategic direction, which focuses on a more integrated system of primary and community care that better meets the needs of patients, including frail seniors.

News from © iNFOnews, 2016

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