New seniors lodge welcomed in Bashaw

The beginning of construction of a new seniors lodge is a welcome — and long-awaited — sight in Bashaw.

The beginning of construction of a new seniors lodge is a welcome — and long-awaited — sight in Bashaw.

Deputy mayor Penny Shantz said the new facility will allow seniors from the town and surrounding area to remain close to their home communities. Being able to provide care for seniors also benefits their communities.

“It’s really important to try and keep the small community viable,” she said.

The 63-room facility to be built by Camrose-based The Bethany Group will replace the existing 38-room Bashaw Valley Lodge, which is 45 years old. It is expected construction will take more than a year.

Shantz likes that the facility has been designed around aging in place so that seniors who require more care as they grow older don’t have to change facilities. Another benefit is that the new lodge will have six one-bedroom units designed for couples.

The province showed its support for the facility with a $4.5 million grant first announced in 2009. The town donated the four-acre site, which is in a new residential area.

“It’s in our new subdivision area so it’s going to be a nice mix. It’s a beautiful site for the seniors.”

In January, Alberta Health Services plans to undertake some community consultation to let residents know what the impact of the facility will be, how it will affect local health care workers and answer any other questions from local residents.