Villa Marie now serving supportive living patients

Villa Marie now has 69 residents under its roof and 22 of its 24 beds for severe dementia patients are already full.

Villa Marie now has 69 residents under its roof and 22 of its 24 beds for severe dementia patients are already full.

The rest of the 47 residents who have moved into the 100-bed Covenant Care facility in Clearview Ridge are receiving supportive living Level 4 care, one level below long-term care, the highest care level for seniors.

The facility is expected to be full in about a month.

“The way the system works right now is the people with the highest level of need are the highest priority,” said Truman Severson, vice-president of innovation and business development with Covenant Health on Friday.

“I would say we’re getting who we expected to get.”

Villa Marie has two 12-bed secure wards for dementia patients who wander.

He said Red Deer was probably a little behind in its bed supply for supportive living Level 4 and supportive living Level 4 dementia patients.

Villa Marie is being run as supportive living facility.

The $30-million facility is one of two built by Covenant Care touted as a new model of care where seniors can age in place without having to move as their care needs change.

Villa Marie opened in January and Covenant’s facility in Calgary opened about a month later.

“We built basically so that (Villa Marie), if it needed to be used for long-term care down the road, there would be nothing about the facility that would prevent that.

“It really depends on the needs in the community and right now (Alberta Health Services) is satisfied that programs at that SL4 level can meet the need.”

Long-term care would require an adjustment in the staff mix and staff numbers, he said.

“The fullness of the new model hasn’t been implemented yet, in part because the community needed the SL4 beds up and running as quick as possible. That said, there are pieces of the new model that are in place. For example, we have a nurse practitioner role that is part of the program.”

A nurse practitioner provides a higher level of medical care and supervision, Severson said.

Other elements will be added to hopefully make sure “there’s very, very few reasons that a person would have to be discharged from supportive living,” he said.

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