Vancouver Coastal Health has signed an agreement with the German Canadian Benevolent Society to rebuild and expand the German Canadian Care Home in South Vancouver. The existing facility will be demolished and replaced with a larger care home with 18 additional beds, for a total of 160-beds, 10 of which will be private pay.
“The German Canadian Care Home has provided compassionate care for decades, enriching the lives of its residents through the many services that are provided,” said Vancouver-Fraserview MLA Suzanne Anton. “The new care home will make sure residents continue to receive quality care.”
“This is a significant step in meeting the care needs of Vancouver residents,” said Laura Case, Chief Operating Officer, Vancouver Coastal Health. “It will enhance residents’ privacy and the experience of care by offering single rooms, private washrooms, outdoor terraces, and better access for wheelchairs.”
The new facility will have several small homes within a single building. This model is known as ‘home and neighbourhood design’ and is considered a best practice in residential care. The German Canadian Benevolent Society envisions the new care home will also provide services to seniors living in the community, which may include adult day care, therapeutic bathing, rehabilitation services, education for informal care givers, and social activities that encourage community interaction and participation. Completion is scheduled for late 2022. Vancouver Coastal Health will provide operational funding for the new facility.
The existing care facility has been serving the community since 1969. It includes Vancouver’s largest special-care unit for residents with dementia. The population is ethnically diverse, with 30 per cent of the residents of German descent. “Although the home has served the community well for many years, the existing facility is outdated, with long narrow hallways and many double rooms,” said Laura Case.
The current care home will close in 2018 to prepare for demolition and construction. VCH and the German Canadian Care Home will develop comprehensive transition plans for each resident to allow for a smooth transition to another facility. Wherever possible, residents will be placed in their preferred location. Staff will also be supported during the transition.
With the signing of the agreement with the German Canadian Benevolent Society, Vancouver Coastal Health has completed the procurement phase of their Regional Residential Care Rejuvenation project. It follows a rigorous process to replace several hundred beds in residential care centres that no longer fully meet resident needs, and to significantly increase the number of beds in communities that currently don’t have an adequate supply for the population they serve.
To date, Vancouver Coastal Health has signed agreements for 943 beds in eight new and expanded facilities over the next six years. VCH, like many health authorities, is planning ahead to meet the complex residential care needs of people living in our region who can no longer live safely at home with support.