B.C.’s health minister confirmed Monday that the province is hiring more staff so seniors in Abbotsford’s residential facilities will get better care. But there is still no news on a long-promised residential care project.
Adrian Dix spoke at a media event Monday to trumpet the new hires and investment, which were previously announced in last year’s budget.
Dix noted that Fraser Valley care facilities were failing to meet – or even to get close to – provincial standards that outline the number of care hours for each resident. While the target is 3.36 daily care hours, Dix said many Fraser Valley facilities are close to 2.75 funded hours. That means that, every day, residents are receiving half an hour less care than the province says they deserve.
Total funding in Abbotsford, Agassiz and Chilliwack will amount to more than $4 million. Subsequent years will see additional funds to hire more staff.
Dix didn’t have any news to share on the longstanding plans to build more residential care homes in Abbotsford.
Nearly five years ago, Fraser Health announced that it would be building a new 200-bed residential care facility at a “campus of care” for seniors on the old site of MSA Hospital on McCallum Road. The project has never got off the ground, though, with requests for proposals failing to turn up a suitable plan for the site.
Last March, Fraser Health’s then-CEO Michael Marchbank told The News that the health authority was looking to sell a chunk of the land, after it consulted with local First Nations.
“We’re optimistic that in a couple of months we will have a way forward so we can realize the potential of those lands in terms of selling them, so we can get on with redeveloping the residential care beds in Abbotsford,” Marchbank said at the time, noting that the plan would be to redevelop several existing sites. But 10 months later, there has been no sign of progress.
Last fall, Abbotsford Mayor Henry Braun said he was getting tired of the hold-ups, noting that the delays were holding up hundreds of needed care beds.
On Monday, Dix acknowledged the delays and the need for more beds,
“There’s definitely the intent to do it. We’re working through it… We need to upgrade some existing facilities, we clearly need to do that, we’re working hard on that and hope to make an announcement soon.”
Dix says such facilities are needed, in part, to resolve crowding issues at Abbotsford Regional Hospital and ensure patients there waiting for beds in the community can be discharged more quickly.
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Residential care facilities to receive more funding for staff include:
Bevan Village: $46,000
Maplewood House: $327,000
Menno Home: $696,000
MSA Manor: $106,000
Tabor Home: $475,000
The Mayfair Senior Living + Care: $340,000
Valhaven Rest Home: $208,000
Agassiz Seniors Community: $337,000
Glenwood Seniors Community: $55,000
Cascade Lodge: $447,000
Eden Care Village: $237,000
Valleyhaven Retirement Community: $772,000
Waverly of Chilliwack: $46,000