In response to a growing need among seniors and people with complex health needs, Covenant Health is building a $26 million supportive living facility in Lethbridge.
The 100-unit facility is expected to open in 2022, according to a joint announcement made by Sarah Hoffman, Minister of Health, and Patrick Dumelie, CEO of Covenant Health.
“We are excited to build on our 155-year legacy of Catholic health care in Alberta, providing services where they are needed the most,” says Patrick. "This new facility will assist in taking pressure off acute care services in Lethbridge, by ensuring seniors can move out of the hospital and into a supportive living residence where they will receive the appropriate level of care in a warm, nurturing environment.”
The facility includes a mix of designated supportive living spaces, including units for people living with dementia. Residents will live in home-like suites where they will have access to supports and services that meet their changing health needs. Jo Ann Molloy, Interim Vice President, Resident Experience, Covenant Care and Covenant Living, says that the services to be provided also include “nursing and personal care, recreation activities, spiritual care, meals and hospitality services in a home environment.”
Lethbridge’s growing senior population makes it a priority area, says an Alberta Health Services (AHS) report. In 2018, the senior population over 65 was 16,300 and is expected to rise by 57 per cent in 2035. AHS anticipates that the facility will also help ease the current waitlist among seniors needing to get into an affordable long-term care and supportive living arrangement.
“I am so pleased that Lethbridge will be able to access more continuing care spaces in their city so people can age with dignity while receiving health services that best meet their needs,” says Sarah Hoffman, Minister of Health. “We all benefit when our seniors are able to remain in their communities, close to friends and family, even as care needs change.”
The provincial government has approved a $10-million grant to build the facility. The rest of the funds will be covered by a mortgage. Covenant Care, the sister organization of Covenant Health, will be operating it.
Jo Ann says that Covenant Care will be offering an “innovative supportive living facility including memory care in the rich tradition of Catholic health. This will enable seniors of all circumstances in the Lethbridge area to be cared for in their own community close to family and friends where relationships can be maintained and honoured.”
The new facility will be built on 4.92 acres of land on the western edge of Lethbridge. It will be the third Covenant long-term and supportive living facility in the area. The first, St. Michael’s Health Centre, a 202-bed facility designed for patients in palliative, community support, and long-term care, as well as, mental health and dementia patients, opened in 1995. And, St. Therese Villa, a 200-unit designated supportive living facility, opened in 2010.
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