With scissors in hand (left to right) Interior Health Authority residential health services administrator Deborah Smith

With scissors in hand (left to right) Interior Health Authority residential health services administrator Deborah Smith

Deni House officially re-opens

After a nine-month $1.9 million renovation, Deni House has officially reopened.

After a nine-month $1.9 million renovation, Deni House has officially reopened.

Two residents have been admitted to the 28-bed residential care facility daily since Nov. 28 and it is expected the rest of the tenants will be moved in by the middle of December in time for the holidays, said Interior Health Authority residential nurse manager Karen Brunoro at an opening celebration held at the facility Monday.

Cariboo-Chilcotin MLA Donna Barnett said Deni House has been enthusiastically supported by Williams Lake and the surrounding area.

“Today is an exciting day,” Barnett said. “I remember it was eight or nine months ago that we knocked the wall out not believing this day would come this quick.”

Barnett thanked the Cariboo Regional District Hospital Society for funding the capital for the renovation and Kevin Falcon, the minister of health at the time, for committing $2 million a year for the operation of the facility. She also offered accolades to the Central Cariboo Hospice Palliative Care Society for furnishing the palliative care family rooms and Williams Lake city council, past and present.

“Without their support I don’t think this project would have come to fruition.”

Cariboo Chilcotin Regional Hospital District chair Rick Mumford said the re-opening was good news for residents of the Cariboo Chilcotin region and credited the Williams Lake Seniors Advisory Council and the White Cane Society for being the “spirit and the push” behind the project.

About 18 months ago members from the two groups came to a regional hospital board meeting to talk about the need for additional residential care space and asked for the board’s assistance to re-open Deni House. Over the next few nights Mumford received several phone calls from some of the “grand matriarchs” of the Chilcotin, he recalled.

“They didn’t beat around the bush. They gave me my marching orders to re-open Deni House. I found out later that was part of the Seniors Council’s strategy — the phone calls.”

Those phone calls were then followed up by two petitions — one from the Chilcotin region and one from Williams Lake — that garnered more than 3,000 signatures in three weeks. A couple of months later Interior Health assessed the building and eventually came to the regional hospital board asking for the $1.9 million.

“We had this ask on one hand and this petition in the other and quite frankly it was a fairly easy decision for the board,” Mumford said.

Williams Lake Seniors Advisory Council chair Audrey MacLise said she was pleased with the renovation and the badly needed reopening, but warned it’s important not to become complacent.

“It will take some of the pressure off our hospital, but our senior population will increase to the year 2033 and will triple by that time,” MacLise said. “At that time it will not dip, it will simply level off.”

Insisting the community should be planning for more facilities, MacLise pointed to the plan to give Cariboo Memorial Hospital a face lift.

“We need to get on with that,” MacLise said, adding if seniors can get the care they need they would rather stay in the community. Interior Health’s residential health services administrator Deborah Smith echoed MacLise’s concerns and said it is a challenge to provide appropriate care for the region’s aging population.

“It can be difficult to leave home when one comes to a point in life when 24-hour care is required,” Smith said. “It can be a challenging step for many families. This investment allows Interior Health to ensure those residents who require 24-hour care are receiving it in an environment that is warm, welcoming and as comforting as possible.”








Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Cariboo Chilcotin MLA Lorne Doerkson speaking in the legislature Monday, May 10. (Video screen shot)
Cariboo Chilcotin MLA calls for rural infrastructure renewal fund

Lorne Doerkson said central parts of rural B.C. devastated by flooding, crumbling infrastructure

(File photo)
Firearms offence at McLeese Lake tree planting camp under RCMP investigation

On May 10 Williams Lake RCMP were called to the camp, located at the 2200 block of Beaver Lake Rd.

Lil Mack has been a member of Cariboo Chilcotin Partners for Literacy since its inception. (Monica Lamb-Yorski photo - Williams Lake Tribune)
Lil Mack of Williams Lake honoured with BC Achievement Community Award

Mack has been an ever-present, quietly powerful literacy force in Williams Lake for several decades

Thompson Rivers University (TRU) announced Tuesday, May 11 that all washrooms on its Kamloops and Williams Lake campuses will have free menstrual products by September. (Monica Lamb-Yorski photo - Williams Lake Tribune)
TRU to provide free hygiene products in all washrooms by fall 2021

“By signing the United Way’s Promise campaign, TRU aims to reduce barriers facing some students.”

FILE - In this April 19, 2021, file photo, Keidy Ventura, 17, receives her first dose of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine in West New York, N.J. States across the country are dramatically scaling back their COVID-19 vaccine orders as interest in the shots wanes, putting the goal of herd immunity further out of reach. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig, File)
5 more deaths, 131 new cases of COVID-19 in Interior Health over the weekend

Those 18-years and older in high-transmission neighbourhoods can register for the vaccine

A bullet hole is seen in the windshield of an RCMP vehicle approximately 4 km from Vancouver International Airport after a one person was killed during a shooting outside the international departures terminal at the airport, in Richmond, B.C., Sunday, May 9, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Homicide team IDs man in fatal YVR shooting as police grapple with spate of gang violence

Man, 20, charged in separate fatal shooting Burnaby over the weekend

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Laketown Shakedown has been rescheduled for 2022, with options for ticket holders to receive refunds or credit for future events. (File photo)
Sunfest country music bash won’t be shining on B.C. in 2021

Annual Vancouver Island Festival cancelled due to COVID-19, along with Laketown Shakedown

Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation elected chief councillor Moses Martin, who was also Chantel Moore’s grandfather, speaks to media in Port Alberni on Aug. 16, 2020, during a visit from NDP leader Jagmeet Singh following the police shooting of Chantel Moore. (Elena Rardon photo)
Mother of 2 shot by police in critical condition, says B.C. First Nation chief

Community ‘devastated’ by third member of 1,150-person Vancouver Island nation shot in less than a year

B.C. Agriculture Minister Lana Popham promotes the government’s BuyBC food program in 2019. (B.C. government)
Money running out for fresh fruit, vegetables, milk in B.C. schools

‘Looking at ways to support this type of program,’ minister says

(Paul Henderson/ Chilliwack Progress file)
Experts now predict 33.6% rise in B.C. home sales for 2021

BCREA economists also predict home prices to increase by 14.3%

B.C. Auditor General Michael Pickup in 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS
B.C. didn’t effectively manage conservation lands program: auditor general

Michael Pickup says staff had limited approaches to resolving the unauthorized use of the most at-risk conservation lands

Threats against Kamloops school forces a hold and secure

The threats were made against Brock Middle School

The majority of city council votes in favour of this design for a new Salmon Arm flag on Monday, May 10, 2021. (City of Salmon Arm image)
Majority of council salutes new flag for Salmon Arm

Two councillors raise concerns about logo being too corporate for a flag

Most Read