LETTER: Development would be a private facility

Did you know that the Summerland Seniors Village has one entire private wing empty?

Dear Editor:

Did you know that the Summerland Seniors Village has one entire private wing empty?

And did you know that the ICASA development is to be a private development?

The article in the Summerland Review Dec. 8 has Gary Tamblyn stating that the St. Elizabeth Health Care Services will have home care services available to all Summerland residents.

Only the residents of the development will have access to St Elizabeth Health care including those in the purchased condos but with their focus on the two buildings leased by St. Elizabeth.

Secondly having spoken with the St. Elizabeth representative on two separate occasions and with the Lark Group.

I am of the understanding that they will be utilizing “telehealth” to access their team of doctors and other medical clinicians. I did not hear at any point that there would be onsite doctors available. Let’s be clear – the St. Elizabeth Health Care Services is and will be a privately run business and not subsidized or provincially sponsored. Those who choose the facility pay directly out of pocket.

In May 2015 the Seniors Advocate of B.C. (Isobel MacKenzie) issued a comprehensive document on Seniors Housing in BC.

For their purpose the definition of a senior is an individual who is 65 years of age or older. The report covers the entire province.

It states that” there are currently 820,000 seniors living in B.C. with a demographic shift in population at a rate of less than one per cent per year and that nearly two-thirds of B.C.’s seniors live in one of the province’s four metropolitan areas (Vancouver, Victoria, Abbotsford-Mission, and Kelowna) — a rate that has held steady for the past 20 years and is expected to remain unchanged for at least the next 10 years.

The Interior Health Authority recognizes a population of 162,615 seniors in their district which reaches as far north as Willams Lake and to the B.C./Alberta border.

The Seniors Advocate also points out that seniors want to age as independently as possible in their own homes and in their local communities. It states that “85 per cent of Canadians over 55 plan to remain in their present home for as long as possible, even if there are changes to their health.”

Mr. Tamblyn stated there is a need for the facility in Summerland. The Seniors Advocate stated that “the availability of assisted living overall appears to be sufficient given there is an estimated 10 per cent vacancy rate.”

M-A MacDonald