More seniors beds to open up next fall

New beds promise to be a Haven for the elderly in Penticton. October will see construction begin on 66 new beds at Haven Hill Retirement Centre funded by Interior Health with the aim to increase residential care capacity.

  • Sep. 13, 2011 4:00 p.m.

New beds promise to be a Haven for the elderly in Penticton. October will see construction begin on 66 new beds at Haven Hill Retirement Centre funded by Interior Health with the aim to increase residential care capacity.

Buron Healthcare Ltd. was among eight proponents to respond to Interior Health’s request for proposals to design, build and operate the new beds. Operators had to have experience in residential care project development and ongoing management, and IH announced last week that the Haven Hill Road facility was the successful applicant.

Haven Hill currently has 112 beds all funded by IH, which will expand to 178 next fall.

Karen Bloemink, IH’s regional director for residential services, said the new beds are part of ongoing long-term planning for the aging population.

“It helps us provide the right service to individuals to meet their needs,” she said. “Sometimes our hospital beds are blocked by people who more appropriately would require a more complex care bed, which is what these beds are.

“They aren’t all in hospital beds; some live in the community. Sometimes we have people who end up waiting in a hospital bed, and that isn’t the best. These are beds for people who require 24-hour, seven-day professional care who can no longer stay in the community.”

Penticton was chosen for expansion after research was conducted, Bloemink said, adding Haven Hill’s expanded offerings will be open for all eligible South Okanagan residents.

“The population, we know, is growing and their needs are consistent with this type of service,” she said. “It’s very good for the people who live in the South Okanagan, just to balance out the amount of service we have available with this level of specificity.”

The 66 beds are part of 527 residential care beds announced by the health authority last December, and are expected to be ready for occupancy by next fall.