Sandy Pedneault, the Chair of SECHS is frustrated at Ayre Manor’s inability to meet Sooke’s needs due to a lack of funding.

Sooke’s Ayre Manor expansion stalled

Local seniors needing care have to leave community

Four years ago Sooke Elderly Citizens’ Housing Society received a development permit for a much needed expansion to its facilities at Ayre Manor.

Recently, the society had to renew that permit for another three years, still hopeful it would eventually be able to expand to meet the community’s needs.

But despite having had the plans developed and being “shovel ready” for years, it’s unlikely that there will be any increase in the number of beds for Sooke seniors any time soon, says Tim Orr, director of residential services for the Vancouver Island Health Authority.

“There is only so much funding available and a lot of care homes that would like to have additional beds. Right now our priority is the central and North Island. I couldn’t give you an estimate of when funding would be available for Sooke or the Greater Victoria area. It may be years,” said Orr.

The relationship between VIHA and SECHS ability to build an addition to the facility in Sooke is a complicated one.

VIHA does not provide the funds for the physical construction of the addition to the manor. Those funds are available through B.C. Housing as interim financing and then assumed by a mortgage through a traditional lender like a bank.

But neither B.C. Housing or the banks will provide funds until VIHA commits to subsidizing the 68 new beds in the new addition to ensure a revenue flow that would allow SECHS to cover the mortgage.

Without the subsidy, SECHS would not be able to fill the beds as the costs to the clients are generally prohibitive, approaching $90,000 per year.

With that subsidy not in the cards, the human impact of the situation can be devastating, says Sandy Pedneult, chair of SECHS.

“We have Sooke residents in need of care who are currently being housed in a care home in Victoria. They only want to come back to their home community as they are far away from their loved ones and the community where they’ve always lived with no options to come home to Sooke,” Pedneult said.

She explained that Ayre Manor provides a continuum of care that ranges from independent living to assisted living and all the way to two hospice care beds at the facility.

“It’s always been our intention to have a full range of care options so that a resident can move from one level of care to another as they age and require more care. That doesn’t work when all the spaces are full,” she said.

The situation is so difficult that there have been cases of clients hiding their increased care needs from workers.

“They know that if they need to move into a higher level of care and no spots are available here, they may end up having to move out of the community to an open spot somewhere else on the Island,” said Kerry Williams, director of administration for Ayre Manor.

“They hide the fact that they need more help because they don’t want to leave their home community, and I understand that. They shouldn’t have to. We owe them more than that.”

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Sunday morning fire damages Victoria gas station

The fire on Fairfield Road caused $75,000 in estimated damages to tires and automotive equipment

Deadline extended for annual writing competition

Mail-in entry format makes Victoria Writer’s Society contest perfect for the times

Oak Bay deputy police chief and family cut Guatemala vacation short to return home

Belize border, punctured gas tank part of the adventure

Program makes a connection with isolated Victoria seniors

Phoning Seniors Together program lines up volunteers with seniors at Luther Court

‘Better days will return’: Queen Elizabeth delivers message amid COVID-19 pandemic

The Queen said crisis reminds her of her first address during World War II in 1940

Emergency aid portal opens Monday, cash could be in bank accounts by end of week: Trudeau

Emergency benefit will provide $2,000 a month for those who have lost their income due to COVID-19

Education, not enforcement: B.C. bylaw officers keeping a watch on physical distancing

A kind word, it turns out, has usually been all people need to hear

COVID-19: Hospitals remain safe for childbirth, say Vancouver Island care providers

North Island Hospital has been asked to share its perinatal COVID-19 response plan

Canadian cadets to mark 103rd anniversary of Vimy Ridge April 9 virtually

Idea of Captain Billie Sheridan in Williams Lake, B.C. who wondered what to do in times of COVID-19

B.C. VIEWS: Pandemic shows need for adequate care home staffing

Seniors in B.C. care homes face challenging times

QUIZ: How much do you know about hockey?

Take this test and find out how well you know Canada’s most popular winter sport

Researchers look at humidity as a weapon in the fight against airborne viruses

Regular hand washing, physical distancing and PPE for health care workers remains best line of defense

Most Read