Officials and residents celebrate the grand opening of The Hamlets at Vernon during a reception held at the one-of-a-kind residential care home Wednesday afternoon. (Erin Christie/Morning Star)

The Hamlets at Vernon opens

New residential care home offers partners a way to stay together

  • Jan. 19, 2018 12:00 a.m.

Officials open The Hamlets at Vernon during a ceremony held Jan. 17.

There are several care homes in Vernon, but 82-year-old Ralph Rushworth says he doesn’t know of any quite like The Hamlets.

“You can have your partner in life live on one floor and get the care that they need, while you live independently on the other floor…you don’t have to separate people,” he said.

Rushworth, who lives at The Hamlets in Vernon, was one of nearly 100 guests to attend the grand opening of Vernon’s newest residential care home Wednesday afternoon with community members, Interior Health and H&H Total Care Services Inc. staff members.

In his remarks, Rushworth said he and his “partner in life,” Ellie currently live “fairly independently” at the home, meaning they have their meals and housework looked after by staff. But he says they take comfort in knowing that should one of them require more care, they will only be a floor away.

“Imagine being separated from your partner after 30 or, even 60 years,” Rushworth continued. “If one of you needs more care, it makes it that much harder. This way, people are able to stay together. I think that’s pretty unique.”

The Hamlets at Vernon welcomes more than 100 new residential care clients. The six-storey building houses 85 publicly-funded and 15 private pay residential complex care beds, as well as 52 private pay assisted living units.

“The Hamlets at Vernon is a great addition for the North Okanagan and its residents,” said Health Minister Adrian Dix. “The publicly-funded beds provide a safe, caring place for seniors living with dementia and other individuals requiring assistance with complex health issues.”

Dr. Doug Cochrane, Interior Health Board Chair, said this expansion of services to assist seniors with complex care needs in the North Okanagan will help IH serve those who are “among the most fragile members of our society,” and that the additional beds will also help IH reduce pressures in other health-care facilities in the area.

H&H Total Care Services Inc. was awarded the contract to house the 85 publicly-funded beds by Interior Health in October 2015. Construction of the new residential care home began in March 2016, located at 3050 29th Ave.

Today, Interior Health funds 5,836 residential care beds, providing 24/7 care and support to people with complex care needs, who are no longer able to live independently. This includes people who have been assessed as needing 24-hour professional nursing supervision and care that cannot be met in their home. The new and expanded care homes across IH are designed to provide culturally safe settings, achieved by working with the local indigenous communities.

Erin Christie

Morning Star Staff

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