Bedford CHSLD expansion to go ahead: CIUSSS

By Ruby Irene Pratka - Local Journalism Initiative
Bedford CHSLD expansion to go ahead: CIUSSS

On May 11, minister for seniors and caregivers Marguerite Blais and Brome-Missisquoi MNA Isabelle Charest announced plans to move forward with a long-awaited expansion for the CHSLD de Bedford.

The cost of the expansion is estimated at $15.1 million, of which the provincial health ministry will contribute just under $3.5 million and the CIUSSS de l’Estrie-CHUS will contribute $11.6 million.

“The expansion and renovation project that is beginning at the CHSLD de Bedford has been reviewed and will have significant benefits for the residents, their loved ones and the staff who work there. We are continuing our major transformation of residential settings for long-term care seniors throughout Quebec. The project in Bedford will be inspired by our philosophy of seniors’ homes, in addition to adding beds and creating larger, functional and welcoming spaces,” Blais said in a statement.

Patient advocates had been pushing for an expansion since at least 2015, according to Christiane Granger, president of the non-profit Lévesque- Craighead Foundation, which raises money to support the CHSLD and other local public health facilities in and around Bedford. The plans were first announced in 2019, but the expansion was postponed due to the pandemic, said Rosane Rivard, assistant director of CHSLD operations for the western region of the CIUSSS de l’Estrie-CHUS.

The expansion will allow the residence to accommodate up to 49 residents in private rooms, and create a protected unit with eight places for people with cognitive disabilities who are susceptible to wandering. The washrooms, laundry facilities and foodservice facilities will also be “updated,” Rivard said. Residents of the protected unit will also have access to a secure terrasse “to allow them to go outside in complete safety.”

“The goal of the renovations is to give everyone a private room, both for infection prevention and to give every resident a space of their own,” she said. “Those plans predate the pandemic.”

Rivard said the CIUSSS hoped to move forward with a call for tenders in January 2023 and start construction in April. A detailed construction timeline will be released at a later date. Residents should be able to move into the protected unit in summer 2024, according to a statement from the CIUSSS. Plans for the expanded facility are being developed in consultation with families, health professionals and residents, Rivard said.

Granger said the renovations to the CHSLD will allow more seniors to receive the care they need without leaving their community. “At this point, some seniors have to go to Farnham or Cowansville to access the services they need,” she said. “Our goal is for seniors to be able to receive care in our community until the end.” She said the foundation planned to launch a fundraiser in the coming months to help buy furniture and equipment for the new facility.

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