The grand opening of 34 new residential care beds at Ivy House at Columbia Garden Village was celebrated on Wednesday

The grand opening of 34 new residential care beds at Ivy House at Columbia Garden Village was celebrated on Wednesday

New residential care beds celebrated

Upgrade brings Columbia Garden Village residential care bed total to 69

With an aging Canadian population often faced with new health care challenges, it’s assuring to know that Invermere is ahead of the curve. Golden Life Management has opened 34 new residential care beds in their special care home, Ivy House, at Columbia Garden Village.

Residential care beds cater to seniors who require assisted living. By partnering with Interior Health, Golden Life Management was able to build Ivy House, adding new beds to extend the capacity and services available to seniors.

“This is a great program for the people of Invermere, because it’s as if they’re being treated in the public system, but benefiting from some of the private features offered by Golden Life,” said Landon Elliott, director of marketing at Golden Life Management. “Our new building is essentially the exact same as what people have come to expect at Columbia Garden Village.”

Mr. Elliott said confusion often arises as many people do not realize the difference between the old building and the addition, which is the Ivy House.

“We’re trying to make Ivy House as home-like as possible,” he said. “Independent and open for all of our seniors to have accessibility to proper and caring providers.”

While the Ivy House is similar to the Columbia House, it has a campus of care, which features three different types of housing at Columbia Gardens.

“We have independent housing which is for completely independent serniors; we have assisted living which is in-house care, such as grooming and medication monitoring; and then we’ve got full-care, which is the residential care at Ivy House,” he said.

As an example, Mr. Elliott spoke about a hypothetical elderly couple — one lives independently and the other is in care.

“They can still live in the same building,” he said. “Even though they’d live in separate rooms, they’d have dinner together and go to outings, yet the one who isn’t in care can have a little extra independence.”

A $6,100,000 price tag covered the cost of the 34 new beds, as well as the renovation to fit the units and an underground parking lot. The new beds have created 16 new full-time positions, and 18 part-time.

While a bed shortage existed before the 34 unit expansion, a slight surplus of beds is now the case at the Ivy House.

“So you can imagine the shortage before our building was there,” Mr. Elliott said.

While Golden Life Management operates as a private business, user fees are dealt with in a public manner through Interior Health.

“It’s as if they’re to being treated at a public rate, but benefiting from some of the private features offered by Golden Life,” he said.

The 34-unit addition brings Invermere’s total residential bed count to 69.