More assisted living spaces for Lacombe

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More Lacombe seniors will be able to age locally after Royal Oak Manor opened 88 more supportive living beds.

The province kicked in $8.8 million into Christenson Communities’ $17-million four-storey building. Twenty-two units in the older area will be converted into a dementia wing, providing 24-hour, on-site professional and personal care.

The units in the new wing offer couples the opportunity to remain together and have full kitchens.

“To add 88 new units, 22 dementia in the old wing and 66 here, I can’t think of a better way to invest in taxpayers’ money,” said George VanderBurg, Alberta Associate Minister of Seniors at the ribbon cutting ceremony Feb. 1.

“The seniors in this province deserve the best and it’s up to me to make sure we keep building these across the province.”

The addition brings Royal Oak Manor’s supportive living capacity in Lacombe from 23 beds to 111.

“Supportive living provides the right mix of independence and support desired by seniors,” said Cathy McDonald, vice-president of Central Zone-South for Alberta Health Services (AHS). “This increased capacity will provide residents of Lacombe, and surrounding areas, with the right care in the right place as they age.”

The supportive living beds offers more residents a measure of independence and couples to stay together instead of being placed in separate facilities, said Lacombe-Ponoka MLA Rod Fox.

Lacombe city Mayor Steve Christie praised the development’s age in place concept and said it was much needed in Lacombe.

“It addresses a variety of our housing needs, the lack of seniors’ housing,” he said.

Former MLA Ray Prins was in attendance at the ribbon cutting. He was instrumental in bringing the facility to Lacombe. He brought the idea to the legislature and was a champion of senior’s housing. He sat on the Seniors Advisory Council for several years.