Families in the Comox Valley will soon have access to innovative long-term and dementia care.

The Vancouver Island Health Authority(VIHA) has signed a project development agreement with Providence Living to build and operate a 156-bed dementia village in the Comox Valley.

The dementia village will feature 148 publicly-funded long-term care beds and eight publicly funded respite beds and will be built on the existing The Views long-term care home and the former St. Joseph’s General Hospital.

Once completed, the village will replace the existing beds at The Views.

President and CEO of Providence Living, Jane Murphy, says it’s exciting to be able to continue to give service for seniors who need it in the Comox Valley.

“We are very pleased to take this next step in fulfilling our mandate to provide innovative seniors care by building a long-term care home modelled on the concepts of a dementia village,” said Murphy.

“The Views at St. Joseph’s has a long history in Comox, and we are committed to seeking community input to ensure we best meet local needs. We look forward to continuing our work with Island Health to advance our shared goal of helping seniors in the Comox Valley live to their full potential.”

Some of the features will include amenities for residents and the community like community gardens, child daycare, Island Health-funded adult day programs, a community space, an art studio, and a bistro and chapel.

The facility will host small, self-contained households of 12 residents where each resident will have their own room and bathroom as well.

Construction of the dementia village is estimated to cost $52.6 million and Providence Living has already begun the redevelopment planning process, with a goal of starting construction in spring or summer 2021.

Both Island Health and Providence Living will be consulting and engaging with stakeholders and the community as the project moves forward.