SALMON ARM, British Columbia, October 14, 2006 — The opening of Pioneer Lodge, a new $5.3-million development that provides affordable apartments and support services for seniors, was celebrated today by federal, provincial and community funding partners at an official ceremony.
"Seniors in Salmon Arm now have access to more safe, quality, affordable housing that meets their specific needs," said Colin Mayes, Member of Parliament for Okanagan-Shuswap, on behalf of the Honourable Diane Finley, Minister of Human Resources and Social Development. "Canada's New Government is proud of the work we have done with our partners to help seniors live with independence and dignity in their community."
The new 30-unit development, funded under the Independent Living BC (ILBC) program, is operated by Good Samaritan Canada. Assisted living apartments add to the range of housing and care options available to seniors by providing a middle option between home support and residential care.
George Abbott, B.C.'s Health Minister and MLA for Shuswap, said these units are part of the government's commitment to provide 5,000 intermediate and long-term care beds by the end of 2008.
"With these new assisted living homes now open, seniors in Salmon Arm will have more options to suit their care needs," said Abbott. "We have opened 6,655 new and replacement beds in British Columbia since July 2001, with 1,830 of those net-new. I want to congratulate Good Samaritan Canada for its commitment to providing a range of care options, where seniors can get the care and attention that their individual circumstances require."
Interior Health will provide ongoing funding for personal care and hospitality services to ensure tenants have access to the health-care support they need to remain independent.
"At Interior Health, we are committed to bringing options to seniors so they choose where to live and, at the same time, address their own unique health-care needs," said Interior Health Board chair Alan Dolman.
"We're pleased to be a part of the Salmon Arm community of care," said Phil Gaudet, president and CEO of the Good Samaritan Society. "In addition to the new Hillside Village residential care facility we recently opened in Salmon Arm, converting Pioneer Lodge to 30 assisted living apartments will allow more seniors to remain in their home community."
The Government of Canada, through Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation, will contribute more than $130 million by 2010 towards affordable housing in this province. The provincial government, through BC Housing, will provide a minimum of $34 million annually to subsidize the cost of units built under the Canada – BC Affordable Housing Agreement, as part of a larger strategy to provide a range of housing options for British Columbians in greatest need.
Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation
Director of Communications
Good Samaritan Canada
Formerly an aging 75-bed residential care facility, Pioneer Lodge has been converted into 30 one-bedroom assisted living units for seniors, operated by Good Samaritan Canada. Construction on the development was completed in May 2006 and opened to seniors the following month.
Tenants pay 70 per cent of their after-tax income for their units. They receive two meals a day, weekly housekeeping and linen services, 24-hour emergency response, personal care services and recreational and social opportunities.
Good Samaritan Canada recently opened the new 75-bed Hillside Village facility to replace the residential care beds formerly at Pioneer Lodge.
Capital cost of this project is approximately $5.3 million:
Good Samaritan Canada
Good Samaritan Canada, a Lutheran Social Service Organization, has more than 55 years of experience in providing continuing care, assisted living and other specialized health-care services and facilities in an innovative and caring environment. It is one of the largest voluntary health-care providers in Canada.
The society was created in 1949 and built its first facility, a long-term care hospital, in 1955. Subsequent expansion within Alberta and British Columbia included continuing care, assisted living and supportive housing facilities for seniors, as well as purpose-built homes for persons with development disabilities.
The society has played a key role in the development of new and innovative programs that are becoming industry standards across Canada.