People in Nelson and surrounding areas will soon have access to high-quality long-term care in their community with the construction of 75 new publicly funded long-term care beds at 902 Eleventh St. in Nelson.
The long-term care is a partnership between the Ministry of Health, Interior Health, Columbia Basin Trust, and Golden Life Management and is expected to be complete in September 2024. It will be part of the Nelson Health Campus, a new modern location that will include the amalgamation of existing local health services into one place.
“Seniors and Indigenous Elders deserve safe, comfortable and high-quality care close to home,” said Adrian Dix, Minister of Health. “This new facility, which is part of the largest one-time increase in long-term care beds in the Interior in more than 16 years, will ensure that older adults in Nelson and surrounding areas have access to care in their community when they need it.”
After a competitive bidding process, the contract to finance, build and own the new development was awarded to Mount St. Francis (CBT) Enterprises Ltd., a partnership between Columbia Basin Trust and Golden Life Management. Interior Health will lease and operate the facility.
“The pandemic exposed many inequities within our long-term care system,” said Mable Elmore, Parliamentary Secretary for Senior Services and Long-Term Care. “Our priority is to ensure seniors have confidence that when they age, they can do so in dignity, in care homes that provide quality and comprehensive care. Today’s announcement represents another step forward in our efforts to ensure all seniors receive the care they deserve.”
The long-term care building and the Nelson Health Campus will be located on the old Mount St. Francis hospital site, which was built in the 1940s and operated by the sisters of St. Ann. The hospital closed in 2005 and the deconstruction will be complete in July 2022. Interior Health consulted with the sisters of St. Ann, the local heritage community and the City of Nelson before deconstruction. Anything of historical importance was preserved.
“I am thrilled by the announcement of new long-term care homes and the Nelson Health Campus building in our community,” said Brittny Anderson, MLA for Nelson-Creston. “These projects will ensure expanded access to high-quality care for seniors in our community and is one more example of our government’s commitment to improving care for seniors in B.C.”
The new long-term care building will feature a modern design and provide a warm and caring environment. The building features private bedrooms with ensuite bathrooms, and dining and activity spaces for each small neighbourhood. Other amenities include secure outdoor courtyards and patios.
The new long-term care beds in Nelson are part of the provincial government’s investment to create 495 new beds in the Interior Health region. The remaining 420 long-term beds will be in Kelowna, Vernon, Kamloops and Penticton. Interior Health issued five requests for proposals for the new long-term care beds in the five communities in July 2020.
Improving access to long-term care is part of the Province’s commitment to strengthen senior care and services across the B.C. Since 2017, the province has invested approximately $2 billion to improve care for seniors, including investments in primary care, home health, long-term care, assisted living and respite services.
Two backgrounders follow.