Williams Lake’s brand new residential care facility has opened its doors and began moving residents in two at a time on Monday, April 1.
Iinterim community administrator Keira Shoebridge said moving residents in gradually works best as she gave the Tribune a tour through Cariboo Place on Fourth Avenue North at the site of the former Cariboo Lodge.
“The building is super bright with lots of sunshine and we love the location,” Shoebridge said. “We are happy how the patios are facing the park across the street. It’s right downtown, it’s on a parade route and across from the Seniors Activity Centre. There’s lots of history in this location.”
On Friday contractors were still inside and outside the building finishing up lots of little things, but all the licensing for the Vantage Living facility had been approved by Interior Health, Shoebridge said.
Inside the building there are four neighbourhoods with 18 beds in each.
Named Osprey Lane, Quail Crescent, Snow Owl Lane and Heron Court, the neighbourhoods feature lots of nice artwork.
Seventy of the beds are publicly funded, and two are private-pay.
Each room has a bed, its own bathroom, a large wardrobe and a ceiling lift above the bed.
Cariboo Place also includes a hair salon room, a sacred space equipped with an air filtration system so smudging can take place, a recreation room, dining areas, living room areas, activity areas, multi-purpose areas, and a full-sized kitchen where all the food will be prepared.
“We will have menus and of course will follow dietary guidelines,” Shoebridge explained.
There is also a big laundry room, a housekeeping room and a staff room with a small kitchen.
Engagement from the local community and eagerness has been incredible, she added.
“We have had so much success with local talent. We have literally been working for the last three weeks getting this building together. I have had LPNs, RNs, health care aids, cooks, housekeepers, working alongside each other cleaning this building, getting it ready. Everyone we’ve been hiring is from Williams Lake and our talent is just amazing. The culture that we are establishing has been really important to me, setting that tone of a progressive environment and team work.”
There will be a recreation therapist on site and lots of activities.
Cariboo Place is one of Vantage Living’s nine facilities.
Residents are referred after they have been assessed by Home Health and Community Care and it is determined they require 24-hour care, a media spokesperson for Interior Health noted.
“They may currently be in hospital or living at home with supports.”
Shoebridge said they are also looking to pursue discussions with School District 27 about offering a dual credit program for students wanting to become health care aids.