Province announces funds for senior lodge

  • Mar. 25, 2015 3:19 p.m.

On Monday, the Alberta government announced funding to replace the Piper Creek Lodge in Red Deer.

The province will invest $12.2 million to replace the facility, which was built in 1958 and is currently the oldest senior’s lodge still in use in Alberta.

The new 65-unit replacement lodge will be built to modern lodge standards, which include larger rooms for residents, in-suite baths and showers and modern fire and safety code systems, officials announced.

In addition, the province announced upgrades to existing facilities include new fire sprinklers and safety upgrades to the Parkvale Lodge and the Pines Lodge. There will also be 60 new long-term care spaces at Phase 2 of Covenant Care’s Villa Marie, supported by Affordable Supportive Living Initiative (ASLI) grants; and 120 long-term care and 24 supportive living spaces at The Hamlets of Red Deer, also supported by ASLI grants.

These projects will total more than $31 million.

“Adding 180 long-term care beds, replacing the Piper Creek Lodge and providing fire and safety upgrades for Parkvale and Pines Lodges demonstrates Premier Jim Prentice’s and this government’s commitments to our seniors and to Red Deer,” said Cal Dallas, MLA for Red Deer South.

Mary Anne Jablonski, MLA for Red Deer North agreed.

“I am very pleased that Red Deer will be receiving 180 new long-term care beds, a new lodge to replace one of Alberta’s oldest lodges and safety upgrades to our other lodges,” she said. “Seniors have always been a priority for me and we can see that they are a priority for our government as well.”

Jeff Johnson, minister of seniors made the announcement in Red Deer on Monday.

“We know there is a direct relation between having safe, stable housing and a senior’s overall well-being,” he said. “These investments help ensure seniors can stay in their communities, close to family, friends and neighbours.”

Meanwhile, Keith Acheson, Piper Creek Foundation board chair, said it’s really exciting news for the City. “We’ve been advocating for an upgraded facility for our seniors for some time, and it’s great to finally see it coming to fruition.”

Piper Creek Lodge was the first Lodge built in Alberta, and possibly in all of Canada.

“It is definitely time for a new lodge,” said Geoff Olson, executive director.

“We’ve been very diligent in our planning process, to ensure that our residents and staff are all properly cared for during this process.”

Plans are underway to demolish the current facility and construct a new lodge on the site of the Red Deer Nursing Home.

– Fawcett