Red Deer has been identified as one of 31 priority communities in line to recieve more continuing care space, according to the Alberta government.
The province said a detailed analysis by Alberta Health Services identified 31 communities that are most in need, based on current and projected demand and supply, age of the population and health-care utilization.
Olds was also on the list.
The province is seeking interested operators to submit proposals, if they have the capacity to provide new continuing care spaces, under contract with AHS.
“Seniors and vulnerable Albertans deserve high-quality continuing care close to home; and too many Albertans are waiting in hospital for continuing care spaces,” said Health Minister Tyler Shandro.
“This initiative is part of our larger commitment to add continuing care spaces so seniors and vulnerable people can get the care they need in the communities they love.”
Currently, there are 27,518 continuing care spaces in Alberta, with about 400 Albertans waiting in acute care for continuing care space to open up.
The average wait in the province for those spaces was 54 days in 2019-20.
The government said the 2020 budget includes $164 million over the next three years to increase the number of continuing care spaces in Alberta and it is the first step in expanding care for seniors.
“Every Albertan wants to age in grace and dignity, close to family and friends. Targeting priority communities means that more Albertans will have quicker access to continuing care closer to home,” said Jennifer McCue, board chair of the Alberta Continuing Care Association.
“This is a smart and sensible approach that will benefit Alberta seniors in communities across the province.”