Karen Brunaro

Karen Brunaro

Deni House on time and on budget

The renovation of Deni House is on time and on budget.

The renovation of Deni House is on time and on budget.

That’s the message the Interior Health Authority’s residential care manager for the Cariboo Karen Brunaro delivered during an official walk through of the facility Wednesday morning.

Brunaro led a group of Interior Health Authority officials, media and MLA Donna Barnett through the facility where tradespeople were installing wiring and applying fresh paint.

While the rooms remained empty of furniture there were lift installations in place in every room, as well as construction on enlarged bathrooms.

Additionally, the facility’s nurse call system is being upgraded as well as electrical and alarm systems.

A surprise addition that was not included in the original Deni redesign is the renovation of the patio area. Brunaro indicated that funds had been found.

Construction on the upstairs of Deni House, said Brunaro, is expected to be complete by mid October and residents should begin to move in mid November. By Christmas it is expected the facility will be fully functional.

Brunaro told the group that when complete Deni House will have 28 beds — 19 permanent, and nine short stay that include four for convalescence, three for respite and two for palliative care.

As for whether those nine would hold those designations permanently, Brunaro said it would depend on need in the community.

“We will be flexible,” she said.

The adult day program that has been running since the facility closed will also continue at the facility.

Brunaro further indicated there were no plans for an expansion of Deni House at this time.

The health authority expects to hire a mix of registered nurses, licensed practical nurses and care aids to staff the facility.

Brunaro expects there to be 20 permanent and casual positions when Deni House is operational.

Deni House was shut down to residential care in 2007.

Funding from the Cariboo Chilcotin Regional Hospital District to the tune of $1.89 million made the renovation possible. In exchange, the IHA agreed to fund the facility’s annual operating costs.