What does the approval of the Mountain View Senior's Housing Project mean to Sundre and District?
It means that we are a big step closer to the goal of keeping seniors and their families together in Sundre and District. Upon completion of this 103-unit facility, seniors and their families throughout Mountain View County will be able to receive the care and housing they deserve.
In Sundre, as in many rural communities in Alberta, when seniors require 24-hour care due to a health crisis, or deteriorating health, they are either cared for in emergency beds in hospital or placed in available care beds in other centers. The strain on seniors and their families was apparent and the need for higher quality of support for seniors was determined as a need. The pressure on our own hospital critical care beds was also increasing.
More than 2 years ago, the Sundre Seniors' Care and Housing Committee began advocating for seniors in our community. They worked very closely with Mountain View Seniors Housing to demonstrate the need in the community and they pressed local and provincial governments to respond to the needs in the community. Shovels will be in the ground this fall and the doors are expected to open in the summer of 2016.
This is a $26.6 million project that will see the 45 beds at Foothills Lodge (which provide level 1 and level 2 care) moved to these new accommodations. Along with replacing Foothills Lodge, there will be an additional 40 beds to accommodate 24-hour care (level 4 and 4D). Level 1 and 2 care is independent living with some assistance while level 4 and 4D is care requiring 24-hour monitoring and assistance. These new beds will reduce strain on our hospital acute care beds also. In addition to these 85 beds, there will be 18 independent life style "life lease" units so seniors of all abilities can live together - no matter what their ability - in a "campus of care" complex model.
Mountain View Seniors Housing provides "housing" options for seniors. They are a "not for profit" organization providing affordable and subsidized housing options. I pay about $50 per year through my taxes to support MVSH. The ratepayers of Sundre, Didsbury, Olds, Carstairs, Cremona and the County of Mountain View contribute to Mountain View Seniors Housing each year through a requisition. The residents of the housing facilities pay for their housing - and there is some subsidy for some residents paid for by municipal taxes.
Without the space and staffing for level 4 and 4D care in Sundre, seniors have been placed in available, appropriate beds for their needs in other communities, sometimes very far away. Although this building will be located in Sundre, it will mean that seniors from all corners of Mountain View County will be able to have options of appropriate care beds in Sundre, Olds and Didsbury when available. As our population grows older there will be a need for more of these options for seniors. The Board and staff at Mountain View Seniors Housing will continue working with all communities within the County of Mountain View to provide affordable housing options for seniors.
As always, if you have questions about any of this information, please give me a call at home at 403-638-3535. Thank you for taking the time to read about this very exciting project in our community :) Thank you to all who worked so hard over the past years to make this dream come true. Our seniors deserve it.
Mayor Terry Leslie