Re: "Needs grow, but beds stand empty at Oak Bay Lodge," July 29.
I have been following the Vancouver Island Health Authority's attempt to replace Oak Bay Lodge from the beginning.
Seniors are increasingly turned away because the aging facility cannot support the needs of some elderly patients who require extensive complex care. Could the empty beds be because families are choosing not to place their loved ones at a facility slated for redevelopment and possible construction on the site?
Research and common sense show that too many moves for seniors can lead to health complications.
The article states that sliding glass doors in the residents' rooms can only be opened a few centimetres because the balconies are "falling apart and unsafe."
I understood the policy was in place to make sure residents, particularly those with advanced illnesses and conditions, don't fall.
I am aware the building is not up to current standards. And I am aware that staff are constantly finding the best ways to deal with the space challenges. The quality of care at Oak Bay Lodge is as good as ever, in spite of the building's challenges.
It seems to me there has been an overall lack of interest by VIHA and the Ministry of Health to maintain and improve the facility. Rather, there has been an effort to characterize the facility as deficient to justify a new development.
Chairwoman, Hospital and Allied Services Component, B.C. Government and Service Employees' Union Victoria
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