Graphic design of a dementia village, which is planned for Comox.

Dementia village concept takes shape

Providence receives $3 million kickstart for first project

Thanks to a $3 million donation from the estates of Beatris and Peter Jurazs, Providence Health Care can get a head-start on a dementia village project in Vancouver and apply what they learn to a similar village in Comox.

On April 1, the Vancouver-based, non-profit health care provider takes ownership of St. Joseph’s Hospital. A ‘campus of care’ plan will initially focus on vulnerable seniors, particularly those challenged by dementia and Alzheimer’s.

Providence has begun making changes to a wing that will become its first dementia village at Holy Family Residence in Vancouver. The plan is to create two households of 12 people now living onsite.

“It’s not the 155 people, I think, in Comox, yet, but even just to get the residents within close proximity to each other,” said Jo-Ann Tait, Providence corporate director, seniors care and palliative services.

“We’re going to start to build and put it in kitchenettes, for example, where people can come together around meals. We’re going to start to look at how residents can be supported with dementia to participate in preparing food again, and see what abilities they still have. That’s our exciting part.”

The vision for a dementia village at St. Joseph’s follows a Dutch model for seniors care in De Hogeweyk, Netherlands. The village will support a group of people faced with moderate to severe dementia. The idea, through involvement in everyday things, is to improve a person’s quality of life.

At Holy Family Residence, Providence has started to create an outdoor space that will replicate the secure outer perimeter of the village, where residents will have the freedom to come and go from their front door.

In an effort to make the facility feel like home, photos and murals of Gastown and Hollywood will decorate the walls.

“They want to see those old pictures of what Vancouver used to look like — to be transported into a period of time where it brings some comfort and helps them reminisce,” Tait said.

Another feature is motion sensor lights underneath beds, a project initiated in another care home with students from the Emily Carr University of Art and Design. When residents swing their feet off the bed, a light comes on.

Providence will initiate a community consultation process after it takes ownership of St. Joe’s.

“When we complete the community consultation, we would like to know what we can start there as well, even before the village is constructed in Comox,” Tait said.

Just Posted

DJ Shub headlines Cumberland’s Party in the Park

On the weekend of National Indigenous Peoples Day, and the summer solstice… Continue reading

Asian business owners adapt to life in the Valley

Government program helps labour market

Boomer’s Legacy Bike Ride raises more than $40,000

42 registered cyclists ride to Nanaimo and back

Millard Piercy Watershed Stewards receive Keep It Living Award

The Millard-Piercy Watershed Stewards were recently honoured as recipients of Project Watershed’s… Continue reading

Comox Valley to host national skeet shooting championship

The Courtenay and District Fish and Game Protective Association shotgun facility will… Continue reading

10 facts about Father’s Day

Did you know that the special day for dads was first celebrated in 1910?

Bombers down B.C. Lions 33-23 in season opener

Former Lion Andrew Harris leads Winnipeg with 148 rushing yards

Northern B.C. family remembers murdered Indigenous woman with memorial walk

Still no closure for Ramona Wilson’s family 25 years later

Monkey spotted on late-night jaunt in Campbell River

Conservation officers also apparently looking for cougar in the area

B.C. university to offer mentorship program for former youth in care

Students using the provincial tuition waiver program will soon be able to form a community at KPU

Cyclists competing in one of the toughest bike races on the planet pass through Fernie

Divide riders looking strong as they finish first leg of 4160 km race

You might not know these B.C. records are public

Hired a lawyer to file a civil claim? Those are published online

B.C. bus driver loses case to get job back after texting while driving full bus

An arbitator ruled that Tim Wesman’s phone usage was a “a reckless disregard for public safety”

Revamped B.C. Lions set to battle veteran Winnipeg Blue Bombers

The Lions’ first test of the season will be a big one

Most Read