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Improving care for seniors at the new Villa Cathay Care Home


Vancouver, BC – More than 100 Vancouver seniors are starting off the new year in a new home. Phase 1 of the Villa Cathay Care home expansion is complete and the project is taking another major step forward with the launch of the second phase of construction to provide care for even more seniors. 

“We’re offering up to 70 more spaces for seniors in a specially designed, comfortable and welcoming setting,” says Health Minister Adrian Dix. “The new Villa Cathay Care allows seniors to remain in their community as they age and offers a unique, carefully crafted neighbourhood look and feel that seniors can feel proud to call home.”

Originally announced in 2018, Villa Cathay Care Home project consists of two new buildings for seniors in a larger, more modern neighbourhood setting. The first building—a 10-storey tower—is now home to 127 seniors. Construction will begin shortly on an adjoining three-storey low-rise, which is expected to open in late 2021. Once both phases of construction are complete, the new Villa Cathay Care Home will have 224 beds, creating space for 70 more seniors with 192 beds being publicly funded and 32 private-pay. 

The completed project is estimated to cost $72.9 million with Villa Cathay Care Home Society contributing the land and financing and fundraising to build the two phases. Vancouver Coastal Health is providing operating funding to support the 192 publicly funded beds. BC Housing is providing up to $52 million in construction financing for both Phase 1 and 2 of the development.

“Seniors are going to do better when they receive care and services from staff who understand their culture,” said Anne Kang, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Health for Seniors. “I’m proud of the work that our government has done with partners under our seniors strategy to give families what we all want for our loved ones, that is, the reassurance and comfort that our elders will live and age well in a place that feels like home.”

“I really like my new home,” says the 89 years old Mr. Tong Li, resident of Villa Cathay since 2014. “We now have a wheelchair-accessible washroom and shower in our room. We also no longer have to wait for the elevator to the dining room because we can have meals on the same floor as our rooms.” 

The small house model now in place at Villa Cathay is a best practice in long-term care. Residents have their own rooms with ensuite washrooms and small dining rooms to accommodate up to 16 residents in a more intimate, family-style setting. “The design enhances residents’ privacy and dignity and supports freedom within the safety and comfort of each house. The provision of Chinese culture, food and language are part of the culturally-sensitive care at Villa Cathay,” says Sarah Jordan, Director of Long-term Care and Assisted Living for Vancouver Coastal Health. 

“We are delighted with the commitment from Vancouver Coastal Health that makes the rebuild and expansion of our 41-year-old home possible and we look forward to the continuous partnership in providing quality senior care,” says Szuchi Lee, Executive Director of Villa Cathay Care Home Society. “With the completion of the 10-storey Tower, we are excited to move forward with Phase 2 of Villa Cathay Rejuvenation Project.  Our new home enhances our ability to provide person-centered care and meet the holistic needs of our residents. The new facility also allows residents to experience a much higher degree of comfort and privacy. Once the adjoining pavilion is completed, Villa Cathay can provide more long-term care beds for the community.”

“We are deeply grateful for the contributions and support from our generous donors, passionate family members, enthusiastic volunteers and dedicated staff members for making Phase 1 Rejuvenation Project possible,” says Lisa Donovan, Chair, Villa Cathay Care Home Society, “We look forward to reaching our $5 Million fundraising goal and completing our Rejuvenation Project by late 2021.” 

Villa Cathay Care Home was created in 1960, when a group of Chinese business people set the wheels in motion for a home where Chinese elders could receive professional care and companionship. Villa Cathay Care Home--one of the first in Canada tailored to Chinese seniors—opened its doors in Vancouver’s Strathcona neighbourhood in 1978. More than 40 years later, a larger, more modern long-term care home is taking shape on the same site, providing exceptional care for generations to come. 

This project is part of a larger 10-year rejuvenation strategy for long-term care across Vancouver Coastal Health. To date, VCH has signed agreements for nearly one thousand beds in new and expanded facilities.

Vancouver Coastal Health is responsible for the delivery of $3.6 billion in community, hospital and long-term care to more than one million people in communities including: Richmond, Vancouver, the North Shore, Sunshine Coast, Sea to Sky corridor, Powell River, Bella Bella and Bella Coola. VCH also provides specialized care and services for people throughout BC, and is the province’s hub of health care education and research. 

Carrie Stefanson

Public Affairs Leader
Vancouver Coastal Health
Office: 604.708.5340

Cell: 604.312.1148

SOURCE: Improving care for seniors at the new Villa Cathay Care Home ( )
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