The number of residents moved out of Michener Centre stands at eight after one more move was completed in January.
Last week, one Michener resident moved to a home in Fort McLeod.
Of the people to have moved so far, four have relocated to group homes in Edmonton and two to homes in Red Deer. Another person moved into long-term care over the Christmas holidays.
Over 200 people remain at Michener, spread across 41 homes on both the north and south sites; 113 of those individuals are scheduled to be transitioned into community group and seniors homes. Two such moves are scheduled to occur in February.
Twenty-one group homes on the Michener south site and two others off site will continue to operate for 104 residents even after other Michener Services facilities close.
Transition planning for the residents still at Michener is continuing, with almost 80 formal plans completed, according to an update from Alberta Human Services.
However, a number of guardians of Michener residents have stopped co-operating with transition planners or are delaying in anticipation of a judicial review hearing relating to the closure scheduled for mid-March.
When the Michener closure was announced last March, the stated plan was to have completed all moves by early 2014.
Seventy-five residents were to be transferred to group homes and 50 others to long-term care centres.
At this point, the transition team has referred 77 individuals to service providers across the province, including nine referrals to Alberta Health Services for long-term care.
Four of those referrals have been approved and residents are awaiting placement.
As residents move from Michener, services on the site are set to change. A pharmacy run by Michener Services will be shuttered in the spring, and a community-based pharmacy will take over providing services to the 100-odd residents who will remain in Michener group homes.
A request for proposals went out for pharmacy services in the fall, and PDD Central is now in the process of selecting a provider.
“This is the exact same way that all other PDD service providers operate in the province — they use community pharmacies to provide their medications and pharmacist consultations,” said spokesperson Cheryl Chichak.
The current Michener nursing department will also be replaced by home care nurses from Alberta Health Services in the coming months; positions have been phased out gradually as the Michener population declines. Chichak said the change will bring the care for those remaining in the Michener group homes in line with operations at other group homes in the province.
No decisions have yet been made about what will happen with the on-site dental and rehabilitation services, according to Chichak.
To accommodate the Michener residents in community group homes, 63 new spaces are being created in the province, including 51 in Central Alberta. Funding was provided to 10 different agencies in the region to create those spaces through the acquisition or renovation of fully-accessible homes.
Two such homes are to be ready for occupancy this month and six others by April.