Nelson’s Mountain Lake Seniors Community is one of two seniors care facilities in the city. Interior Health announced Monday that 495 new long-term seniors care beds will be added to Nelson, Kelowna, Kamloops and Penticton. Photo: Tyler Harper/Nelson Star

Nelson’s Mountain Lake Seniors Community is one of two seniors care facilities in the city. Interior Health announced Monday that 495 new long-term seniors care beds will be added to Nelson, Kelowna, Kamloops and Penticton. Photo: Tyler Harper/Nelson Star

UPDATED: Interior Health to add 495 long-term seniors care beds

Nelson, Kelowna, Kamloops, Vernon and Penticton to receive new facilities

Kelowna, Penticton, Kamloops, Vernon and Nelson will receive 495 new long-term care beds for seniors.

The Ministry of Health announced Monday it was increasing the number of beds to make up for an expected 28 per cent increase in the population of people aged 75 years and older over the next five years within the Interior Health region.

Kelowna will receive 140 beds, Kamloops will see 100 added, while Penticton and Vernon will have 90 added in each community. Nelson meanwhile will have 75 new beds.

The announcement will increase long-term care beds in Interior Health by nearly 10 per cent to 6,550.

“Across those communities, you’re going to see significant improvements in care,” said health minister Adrian Dix.

“We need to address long-term care and we’re doing it by improving staffing, improving standards, improving working conditions and across British Columbia increasing the number of beds.”

Five requests for proposals were issued last week. The ministry said it plans to consider proposals in the fall and award contracts in early 2021 when it also expects construction to begin.

Interior Health president Susan Brown said the communities chosen for the new beds were picked for their projected populations and demographics, admission wait times, and the complexities of care needed.

She added changes made to seniors care during the COVID-19 pandemic will also play a role in how the new facilities are built.

“We know that it has been especially challenging for those living in long-term care and their families,” said Brown. “We are committed to taking what we have learned over the past couple of months and applying it to these projects.”

No specific locations were mentioned in the announcement except for Nelson, where Brown said Interior Health wants to use land at an abandoned hospital.

Dix added he expects each project will be located on one site per community.

“What this reflects is existing numbers of beds in those communities and the demand of the population over 75.”

The ministry said in a statement that the average age of residents in care facilities is 84.

In 15 years, 25 per cent of B.C.’s population is projected to be 65 years and older, up from 19 per cent last year.

READ MORE: Interior Health identifies more locations with COVID-19 exposure in Kelowna

READ MORE: Wage subsidy will be extended until December amid post-COVID reopening: Trudeau

@tyler_harper | tyler.harper@nelsonstar.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Want to support local journalism during the pandemic? Make a donation here.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

A health-care worker prepares a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine at a UHN COVID-19 vaccine clinic January 7, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Employers might be able to require COVID-19 vaccination from employees: B.C. lawyer

‘An employer must make the case’ using expert science, explains lawyer David Mardiros

Interior Health reported 79 new cases of COVID-19 and two new death in the region Friday, Jan. 22, 2021. (Ben Hohenstatt/Juneau Empire)
79 new COVID-19 cases, two deaths reported in Interior Health

Both of Friday’s deaths were both recorded at long-term care homes

Vancouver Giants defenceman Bowen Byram could be playing for Colorado when the NHL resumes play. (Rik Fedyck/file)
Cranbrook product Bowen Byram makes NHL debut with Avalanche

Highly touted prospect marks first pro game following World Junior tournament in Alberta

CNOY is a family friendly walk/fundraiser hosted by Canadian Mental Health Association for the Kootenays to help those who are hungry, homeless and hurting. Our goal is to raise at least $20,000 and we need your help! The CNOY is set for Feb. 20.
There’s a place for everyone: Coldest Night of the Year walk is back

CNOY fundraising walk to raise money for charities serving people experiencing homelessness, hurt, and hunger set for Feb. 20

1914
It happened this week in 1914

Jan. 17-23: Items compiled by Dave Humphrey from the archived newspapers held at the Cranbrook History Centre and Archives

U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders sits in on a COVID-19 briefing with Dr. Bonnie Henry, provincial health officer, and Adrian Dix, B.C. minister of health. (Birinder Narang/Twitter)
PHOTOS: Bernie Sanders visits B.C. landmarks through the magic of photo editing

Residents jump on viral trend of photoshopping U.S. senator into images

Wet’suwet’en supporters and Coastal GasLink opponents continue to protest outside the B.C. Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on Thursday, February 27, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
‘We’re still in it’: Wet’suwet’en push forward on rights recognition

The 670-km Coastal GasLink pipeline was approved by B.C. and 20 elected First Nations councils on its path

Jennifer Cochrane, a Public Health Nurse with Prairie Mountain Health in Virden, administers the COVID-19 vaccine to Robert Farquhar with Westman Regional Laboratory, during the first day of immunizations at the Brandon COVID-19 vaccination supersite in Brandon, Man., on Monday, January 18, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Tim Smith - POOL
Top doctor urges Canadians to keep up with COVID measures, even as vaccines roll out

More than 776,606 vaccines have been administered so far

From the left: Midway RCMP Csts. Jonathan Stermscheg and Chris Hansen, Public Servant Leanne Mclaren and Cpl. Phil Peters. Pictured in the front are Mclaren’s dog, Lincoln and Peters’ dog, Angel. Photo courtesy of BC RCMP
B.C. Mounties commended for bringing firewood to elderly woman

Cpl. Phil Peters said he and detachment members acted after the woman’s husband went to hospital

Dr. Jerome Leis and Dr. Lynfa Stroud are pictured at Sunnybrook Hospital in Toronto on Thursday, January 21, 2021.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn
‘It wasn’t called COVID at the time:’ One year since Canada’s first COVID-19 case

The 56-year-old man was admitted to Toronto’s Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre

An Uber driver’s vehicle is seen after the company launched service, in Vancouver, Friday, Jan. 24, 2020. Several taxi companies have lost a court bid to run Uber and Lyft off the road in British Columbia. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Taxi companies lose court bid to quash Uber, Lyft approvals in British Columbia

Uber said in a statement that the ruling of the justice is clear and speaks for itself

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good
Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

A 75-year-old aircraft has been languishing in a parking lot on the campus of the University of the Fraser Valley, but will soon be moved to the B.C. Aviation Museum. (Paul Henderson/ Chilliwack Progress)
Vintage military aircraft moving from Chilliwack to new home at B.C. Aviation Museum

The challenging move to Vancouver Island will be documented by Discovery Channel film crews

Most Read