Interior Health announced 35 new residential care beds have been approved for Penticton.

Interior Health announced 35 new residential care beds have been approved for Penticton.

New residential care beds for Penticton

New residential care beds have been approved for Penticton by the Interior Health board of directors.

New residential care beds have been approved for Penticton by the Interior Health board of directors.

Through a competitive bid process 35 new beds were announced for Penticton — a total of 243 residential care beds will be developed for communities across Interior Health.

“By adding more beds throughout the Interior, we’re ensuring that seniors can have the best care possible closer to their loved ones,” said Health Minister Terry Lake. “This announcement also aligns with our strategic vision of strengthening supports in the community.”

The exact locations of the new beds will be determined by the competitive bid process. Communities also getting new beds include Williams Lake (70), Salmon Arm (60), Kamloops (48) and Cranbrook (30).

“The addition of these beds is an important investment for seniors and ensures those needing this high level of care will receive it in the best setting possible,” said Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Health for Seniors Darryl Plecas.

The review that Interior Health conducted looked at current demographics, wait times, referral patterns, complexity of residents, and population projections.

“While our goal is to help individuals live independently as long as possible, residential care continues to play a vital role in supporting the needs of an aging population. This investment is targeting those communities where we anticipate the largest population growth among seniors and increased demand for health services,” said Erwin Malzer, Interior Health board chair.

Interior Health currently has 5,653 residential care beds, providing around the clock care and support for individuals with complex care needs who are no longer able to live at home independently or with supports. This includes frail and elderly individuals with chronic conditions, such as those with dementia, whose needs may change over time.

“Today’s care homes provide private rooms; wide, bright hallways; more intimate dining and recreation areas; and focus on environments that will best support those with complex needs, such as residents with dementia,” said executive director, residential services Cindy Kozak-Campbell

The procurement activities will begin this month with a request for proposals. It is anticipated contracts will be awarded by mid-winter and new beds will be completed by summer 2018.