Seniors moving to Ebenezer home from Dr. Stuart Pavilion

Approximately 75 Mission seniors will be moving from the extended care unit to Abbotsford by fall.

The Dr. Stuart Pavilion at Mission Memorial Hospital is being demolished to make space for the recently announced 200-bed complex residential care facility for seniors. According to the Fraser Health Authority (FHA), this will add 25 per cent more residential care beds to the community.

While construction is taking place, the displaced residents will go to Ebenezer Home on Marshall Road, which was owned and operated by a society until its 2009 closure. Fraser Health has leased the premises until 2013.

The relocation will be hard for those who visit their loved ones regularly, said Francis Storozynski, whose 95-year-old mother resides at the pavilion. “Some of these families are coming three times a day.”

The first notice families received was April 28 with a phone call from FHA, followed by a meeting May 9, she said, at which approximately 30 relatives attended.

But according to FHA communications spokesperson Roy Thorpe-Dorward, going forward each family will be individually contacted and consulted about their relative.

“We understand there is not one solution that will work for everyone,” he said, “and we know it’s stressful for some to move.”

Pleasantview Care Home, a privately run facility located immediately north of the pavilion, was eyed by some as an alternative, however, that site is currently full, but the FHA is putting together a “reserved priority list for those who can’t go to Ebenezer” if a vacancy opens, said Thorpe-Dorward.

Besides the distance, Storozynski voiced her worries about Ebenezer itself.

“It’s about the same age as Dr. Stuart,” she said, and for some of the less ambulatory patients, there are no ceiling lifts at the Abbotsford facility.

Thorpe-Dorward said there is a plan in place.

“If we can’t transfer the ceiling lifts from the pavilion, we will ensure there are sufficient floor lifts,” he said.

Residents are slated to start moving out of the pavilion in waves beginning in September, which seems fast to Storozynski given a contractor has not been chosen as of yet, but the FHA is still hoping to break ground by the end of the year, Thorpe-Dorward stated.

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