We heard from you!
In 2019, the Valemount Senior Citizens Housing Society wanted to develop a Strategic Plan to chart their work for the next few years.
For that, they hired me, Rashmi Narayan. As part of the Strategic Plan, the board determined that the vision of the society was – an inclusive community where the physical, mental and social needs of seniors are met.
I also developed and analyzed the 2019 Seniors Housing & Care Needs Survey, which delivered some surprising results.
70% or 52 of 74 seniors preferring rentals want services in addition to housing. They want to live independently but still have access to services ranging from meals, housekeeping, laundry, activities and transportation. 14 thought they needed to move out of their present homes in the next 3 years while over 60 seniors or to-be seniors felt they could stay in their current home a bit longer.
Even seniors preferring to own more age-friendly homes or apartments wanted supports. 22 of 41 seniors preferring home ownership want services in addition to housing.
In December 2019, it became clear to many community members that it was time to stop seniors leaving the community when all they needed was more supports and not medical care. The Care Committee was formed under the society.
The Committee hosted its first Valentine’s Tea in 2020 and over 90 people came to socialize and hear about plans for the new facility. We put out flip charts to ask people what they wanted to see in the future building, property as well as programs and services. We got a long list! But there was a lot of consensus.
On July 28, 2020, the Valemount Cares Project Team hosted a couple of public sessions at the Community Hall to get people’s input on the design features in the future facility. The team navigated COVID restrictions and 34 people showed up to give us more direction.
The result is a masterplan for the future development going from supportive living to long term care. The designers also have prepared preliminary concept drawings of the first phase of development.
While finding money to develop the housing units will be a bit easier, we have our work cut out to build program and service spaces for all seniors – resident seniors for meals and social events for all seniors.
We’re getting ready to fundraise because you told us what we need to build.
And we need your support – it is new unchartered terrain for a small community like us. We need your prayers and blessings.
Dollars would help too.