Adrian Dix, Minister of Health, Mark Blandford, president and CEO of Providence Living, and Ronna-Rae Leonard, MLA for Courtenay-Comox were among those in attendance at the official opening of Providence Living at The Views.

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Canada’s first ever public long-term care home based on the concepts of a dementia village opened its doors today in Comox on Vancouver Island.

A partnership between Providence Living, the province and Island Health with funding also from St. Paul’s Foundation and Comox Valley Healthcare Foundation, Providence Living at The Views is the first step in the transformation of seniors’ care in BC.

The official opening took place during an event attended by Adrian Dix, Minister of Health, Mark Blandford, president and CEO of Providence Living, and Ronna-Rae Leonard, MLA for Courtenay-Comox. It also featured a welcome dance by members of the K’omoks First Nation.

Located at the former site of St. Joseph’s General Hospital, Providence Living at The Views was built from the ground up with innovative services and state-of-the-art features designed for seniors with and without dementia as well as younger adults requiring long-term care. No matter one’s financial situation, long-term care at the home is public and accessible to all.

“Today, we celebrate a significant milestone in our journey to redefine seniors’ care and create a new standard that prioritizes the unique needs and desires of each individual we serve,” said Blandford. “At Providence Living, we believe that every senior or resident deserves to live a life full of purpose, dignity, and joy. This conviction lies at the heart of our Home for Us care model – a person-centred approach that prioritizes individual choice, social connection, and the daily pleasures that make life meaningful.”

Home for Us is here to stay

Home for Us, a made-in-BC care model based on the concepts of a dementia village, is being permanently adopted by Providence Living at The Views. It was previously the focus of a pilot project at The Views at St. Joseph’s and is currently being piloted at Youville Residence in Vancouver.

It moves away from an institutional approach to a social relational and resident and family-centred approach. Scheduled routines that are largely established by institutional long-term care (such as when the kitchen has food ready) have switched to flexible routines.

Each resident sets the flow of their day – whether that’s sleeping in or watching movies late at night. All resident activities are aided by a compassionate team of staff.

A coffee bar is among the amenities at Providence Living at The Views.

Residents receive excellent medical and nursing care organized and delivered with a non-institutional feel. Medication carts are replaced with discreet, secured built-ins. Meals are cooked and served in the households, creating a family-like dining experience. Decentralized nursing stations blend into living areas. This approach ensures a home-like comfort and emphasis on well-being in a non-clinical setting.

Staff honour the concept of home and understand that they work in the residents’ home. Routines are adjusted to meet residents’ needs and their quality of life takes precedence over organizational and staff priorities.

Enjoying a high quality of life in individual households

The private resident living space of Providence Living at The Views consists of 13 households, each configured to accommodate up to 12 residents in private suites. Each suite has its own bathroom, and the individual households are outfitted with a kitchen, laundry room, dining room, and living room where residents can choose to participate in making meals and in other normal household activities like tidying and laundry.

All residents enjoy private rooms with ensuite bathrooms.

Providence Living at The Views’ barrier-free building design also fosters a social relational rather than an institutional model of care. That, combined with the physical environment, encourages seniors to direct how they want to live and what they want to do to the extent of their abilities.

Each household connects to a large, secure interior courtyard, which means residents can safely access the outdoors and maximize opportunities to enjoy the therapeutic qualities of nature.

High-tech, high positive impact

Tunable lighting is effective in aiding residents who live with sensory changes (e.g. vision loss) and cognitive changes (e.g. dementia) to see where they want to go and to identify spaces, rooms, equipment, and signs. It also enables them to see other people’s faces and body language, become involved in recreational activities, join in everyday routines, and delight in the changing seasons. Tunable features also promote healthy circadian patterns to optimize sleep and have been empirically proven to reduce adverse events like falls.

Location information devices help residents and families feel safe navigating independently because they provide staff real-time information about where residents are within the home. These devices offer keyless entry functions to minimize the use of keys and give residents freedom of movement.

More than just a long-term care home

The home has a first of its kind Indigenous Sacred Gathering Space.

The availability of broader amenities, such as the children’s daycare, bistro, art studio, coffee shop, grocery store, gardens, and chapel, bring about opportunities for residents to interact with people of all generations from the local community – by not just inviting community members in, but by creating a thriving home that is also important in the larger community.

The home has a first of its kind Indigenous sacred gathering space designed by the local First Nation and intended for Indigenous staff, residents and families to honour their traditions.

For more information, visit the Providence Living website.