Providing options to meet the changing needs of seniors

Over the past few months people have asked about Continuing Care in Red Deer. We would like to clarify some information concerning the opening of the new Michener Hill Village and the closing of the Red Deer Nursing Home and Valley Park Manor.

This new facility, with 280 continuing care spaces, will provide residents with as much independence and privacy as possible in a comfortable, homelike setting. Residents will also have the comfort of their own accessible shower, something that seniors have told us is important to them.

Along with the ability to accommodate dementia areas and couple suites, these new spaces will promote a higher quality of life for residents for the same regulated accommodation rates as Valley Park Manor and the Red Deer Nursing Home.

The opening of Michener Hill Village will immediately increase the continuing care capacity in Red Deer by 65 spaces—that means that we will reduce waiting times for individuals who are currently waiting placement to a continuing care facility.

Albertans have told us that they want more choice and more options in seniors care. From the initial Broda Report to the current Continuing Care Strategy, our government has been very aware of the changing needs of an aging population and we have been very proactive in addressing those needs.

Michener Hill Village reflects our government’s commitment to meet the changing needs of an aging population here in Red Deer and throughout the province by supporting the province’s continuing care strategy, “Aging in the Right Place”.

As part of that commitment, we are providing funding to increase the number of affordable continuing care continuing care spaces and to provide more options for seniors to remain as independent as possible, for as long as possible.

Increased provincial funding to Alberta Health Services will add more than 3,000 continuing care spaces across the province over the next three years, to meet the needs of Albertans. These continuing care spaces will help ensure that Albertans receive the right care in the right place.

We are proud of our efforts to be proactive in addressing the needs of seniors in Red Deer and throughout Central Alberta. To date, our government has invested over $51 million to help build around 452 new and updated affordable continuing care spaces in Red Deer alone.

Along with the 280 new units in Michener Hill Village, we can look forward to the 100 new units that will be built by Covenant Health, and the 72 additional spaces at Bethany Care CollegeSide Gardens that will open in September.

Another 276 new units have been funded in Didsbury, Stettler and Lacombe. Seniors in these rural areas will not have to go to Red Deer or other areas for care. These new spaces will help to keep seniors in Central Alberta close to family and friends in the communities that they have helped to build.

The combination of long-term care and supportive living spaces provide Central Albertans with a variety of levels of support to meet their different health and accommodation needs. This improves on the past, when sometimes the only option for seniors who needed care and supports was long-term care and there was nothing available for seniors who needed less support.

While change is never easy, we are confident that seniors and their families will appreciate these new, modern accommodations and new amenities.

We know that we have a growing population of seniors and that they have changing needs. We know that it is important for couples to stay together whenever possible and we know that Albertans like to stay as independent as possible for as long as they can.

The more than 515 new and the 215 new replacement continuing care spaces in Red Deer and Central Alberta are part of the province’s commitment to address these needs and to provide more affordable seniors accommodations that will benefit Central Alberta residents now and in the future.

Mary Anne Jablonski, MLA — Red Deer North

Minister of Seniors and Community Supports

Cal Dallas, MLA — Red Deer South