The Nanaimo area will see a significant boost to seniors’ care with a B.C. government announcement of a 300-bed long-term care facility on the outskirts of Lantzville.
Adrian Dix, B.C. health minister, was in Nanaimo on Thursday, Oct. 19, to announce the facility on Lantzville Road, across from May Richards Bennett Pioneer Park, with work estimated to be complete in 2027. The Island Health-operated facility will be three storeys and house 306 long-term care beds. Additionally, it will include a 20-bed hospice unit and a specialized population unit with 26 beds.
According to a press release, the government said the new care home will be designed to have four main buildings with six ‘households,’ including single rooms with washroom facilities. There will be a dining room and shared indoor and outdoor spaces.
The 26-bed unit will be able to support people needing long-term care and specialized services, including young adults who have suffered traumatic brain injury, mental health or substance-use issues. It will also feature a child care facility with space for 37 children, the release noted.
The facility will service the region and Dix said “it reflects the central importance of Nanaimo in delivering care.”
“Long-term care is centrally important and it’s a point of faith for all of us who lived through the COVID-19 pandemic that we have to make things better in long-term care,” said Dix. “It’s critical to the whole health-care system, to people who are at the hospital, who should be in long-term care, people in the community who need long-term care, especially in a population that is both growing and aging, like the one in this region.”
Lantzville Mayor Mark Swain said the facility will benefit his area in numerous ways, on top of seniors’ care.
“I think the thing we can look forward to in Lantzville is having this facility, which I think is going to be a world-class facility on our border,” Swain told the News Bulletin. “It will bring a lot more people into our specific area, so that’s going to help with the downtown area, driving traffic to our businesses, to our pub, our restaurants and so forth, so I think it can have a huge benefit to us.”
In all, the project has an estimated price tag of $286 million, with the province and Island Health providing $171.5 million and Nanaimo Regional Hospital District contributing $114 million.
Ian Thorpe, hospital district board chairperson, was pleased to hear more beds would be coming and said the district will contribute to the effort.
“Improvements to our regional hospital services have been identified as a top priority for our regional board,” Thorpe said. “We are putting our money where our mouth is through an annual hospital taxation levy. We see the need and we are pleased to be a major funding partner for this vital addition to our health-care infrastructure.”