180 more continuing care beds on the way

Red Deer is getting 180 more continuing care beds as part of the province’s plan to help fund the construction of 31 housing projects for seniors in 18 communities across Alberta.

Red Deer is getting 180 more continuing care beds as part of the province’s plan to help fund the construction of 31 housing projects for seniors in 18 communities across Alberta.

On Thursday, the province announced it will put $180 million in Affordable Supportive Living Initiative grants towards the projects that will create a total of 2,612 continuing care beds.

The Red Deer beds will be split between two projects.

A 120-bed facility called The Hamlets at Red Deer will be built and operated by H&H Total Care Services Inc., of Surrey, B.C.

Andre Van Ryk, chief financial officer of H&H Total Care Services, said he expects the beds will be supportive living Level 4 beds, but the province is still finalizing those details.

Level 4 is one level below long-term care, which is the highest care level for seniors.

H&H has been operating in Alberta since last year, when it took over The Hamlets at Cedarwood Station in Airdrie, a private seniors facility.

“I’m excited about being in Red Deer. We know that the seniors are definitely served well and will continue to be so,” Van Ryk said on Thursday.

He could not disclose the location of the project yet, but hoped construction would start in the fall. It will take about 18 months to build.

Sixty long-term care beds will also be added to Covenant Care Villa Marie in Clearview Ridge.

Villa Marie opened in January with 24 supportive living Level 4 beds for people with dementia, and 76 regular supportive living Level 4 care beds, including six one-bedroom suites for couples.

Villa Marie was one of two projects built by Covenant in Alberta touted as a new model of care, where seniors could age in place without having to move as their care needs change.

The Villa Marie site has surplus land for this second phase.

“We specifically applied for long-term care beds as part of our proposal so we’re thrilled,” said Truman Severson, vice-president of innovation and business development with Covenant Health.

Severson said he’d like to see construction begin in five months and anticipated it would take 18 months or less to complete.

“I think we’re seeing a greater availability of contractors so I’m pretty confident we’ll be able to cut the time back a fair bit.”

Other seniors projects under construction in Red Deer include:

l Points West Living, at 6791 65th Ave. near Taylor Drive, which will have 114 supportive living Level 4 care beds, including at least 39 dementia beds. The 139-unit project received a $5.5 million Affordable Supportive Living Initiative grant.

l Another project that broke ground last month for Christenson Communities will have 60 supportive living beds, including 20 dementia beds, in Timberstone. The 120-unit project received a $4.7-million grant.


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