Care facility closing
An intermediate care facility for elderly Delta residents must close by the end of September 2008.
Heritage Home, a 29-bed facility on Ladner Trunk Road, was built in the 1950s and was originally intended for relatively independent, mobile seniors.
Now, more residents are coming in with complex care issues and the home is not up to Fraser Health Authority standards in its ability to meet these clients’ needs.
Lack of wheelchair access was one of the main concerns, said Fraser Health spokesperson Michael Bernard.
“On top of that as well, the scale of it doesn’t work. We recommend about 100 to 110 as the optimum number of units. Twenty-nine is too small... You have to appreciate that the whole efficacy of it is in question.”
Home residents and family members were told March 11 of the impending closure. Fraser Health has promised to help residents find care facilities within the health authority that meet their needs.
“We’ve been assured by Fraser Health that every effort would be made to accommodate them to facilities of their choice,” said Heritage Home owner Daljit Gill.
Bernard said residents would be placed on “priority lists” at the care homes of their choice and that Fraser Health is in discussion with suppliers to eventually replace those 29 beds elsewhere.
“At the end of the day there will be no net loss of beds.”
Residents who wish to move with a friend or spouse have been assured that “where they want to stay together we want to keep them together,” said Bernard, adding, “We know that socialization is really important to maintain good mental and physical health.”
As for staff, Bernard said it’s very likely they’ll be absorbed into positions elsewhere within the health authority.
A document given to staff March 11 stated that they will be provided with assistance to find jobs “including being given reference letters, help with writing a resume and job hunting tips.”
Gill, who has owned and operated Heritage Home for 11 years, said in order to meet the health authority’s current standards for complex care patients he would “pretty well have to start over again” and tear down the building.
Heritage Home “is the type of residential care facility from another age,” said Bernard.
“In yesteryear you’d have some people spending years in residential care... (Today) seniors are generally living longer and healthier. By the time they get to a residential care facility they’re much frailer and tend to have complex care needs.”
Gill said the news was sad for staff.
“We have a beautiful staff that has done a wonderful job for our residents.”
The owner said that after the facility’s closure in September, he may renovate the home and return it to its intended use, a residence for more independent seniors.
“I’m looking to explore some different avenues,” said Gill.