The proposed replacement for Oak Bay Lodge is being called a regional complex care and dementia facility and will be operated by the Baptist Housing Society.
I understand that the present facility offers long-term care for approximately 247 seniors and that the Vancouver Island Health Authority intends to shut down this facility.
At the special council meeting Nov. 21, many seniors from Shannon Oaks and Marrion Village expressed their support for the new facility because it would allow them to stay in Oak Bay. But as representatives of Baptist Housing and the health authority have stated, there is no guarantee Oak Bay residents would be given preference over people from other parts of Greater Victoria.
What was not really explained to the public is that, because of the type of care the facility is being designed for, only those suffering from dementia or complex-care problems would be eligible for admittance.
Therefore, the replacement of Oak Bay Lodge as it now exists would result in the following: any senior requiring standard long-term care would have to go to some other facility, and the only senior residents of Oak Bay who would be admitted would be those suffering from dementia or complex-care issues.
If a person suffers from dementia, what does it matter to them where they live?
If the facility is to serve all of Greater Victoria, why does the facility have to be built in Oak Bay, when there is no apparent benefit to those in our community who require routine long-term care?
It would appear that the community would be better served to have this type of facility built near the geographical centre of Greater Victoria, where it would be more accessible to family members coming from different areas of the city.
What Oak Bay truly needs is to have the Oak Bay Lodge continue to function as a long-term care facility so the seniors of Oak Bay can continue to enjoy the care they need in their community.
Keith M. Mathers