Replacement needed now to add beds

Oak Bay Lodge replacement will bring much-needed care beds for seniors to Greater Victoria

Re: Councillor comment out of line (Letters, Nov. 2)

To the contrary of the previous writer, I wish to applaud Coun. John Herbert for trying to get the Oak Bay Lodge replacement underway.

First, there are currently insufficient residential care beds available, and many of those facilities being used are worn, tired, and inadequate in many unrepairable ways. Complicating this is a VIHA’s first-bed-offered policy whereby you will not likely get the location of your choice as well as no estimate of your waiting time for that first placement – let alone second placement – if you decline the first-offered bed.

As of last summer there was a three- to five-year wait to transfer between institutions, which, considering the age of some residents, means no shift is possible. So, to comment on the previous writer asking how many of those additional beds will be be occupied by locals, chances are you will not receive placement in your municipality when your time comes. Considering the baby boomer tsunami, we will soon need more care beds, not fewer, than today’s insufficient number.

Secondly, there can be an unequal social burden imposed on some members in a society.  My father-in-law tolerated the addition of the four-lane McKenzie Avenue connector and a doubling and raising of the island highway both in sight of his home. Tolerating a slightly larger health institution might also be one of those burdens.

The Lodge’s replacement was needed yesterday. Let’s not delay any longer. Tell your MLA more care beds are needed now as many of our care residents, and those needing access to care, can no longer do this for themselves.

W.J. Noble

Oak Bay