Langley Township – Renewing a 70-year history of care began today as Fraser Health, provincial and municipal representatives joined residents and the owner of Simpson Private Hospital in a groundbreaking ceremony for a new, larger and more modern seniors care facility.
“Today’s seniors, who were children when the Simpson building was first erected, have witnessed remarkable changes in health care during their lifetime,” said Keith Anderson, interim CEO of Fraser Health. “The Simpson redevelopment is a tremendous leap forward to keep pace with those changes. The result will be higher quality of care and a higher quality of life for those seniors relying on us for care.”
The existing facility was originally built in the 1930s and even the name, Simpson Private Hospital, reflects a time before medicare, hip-knee joint replacements and advanced mobility aids such as ceiling lifts. In that era, care for seniors resembled care in an acute care hospital, with multiple people sharing a single room and a focus on medical care over social and recreational programs.
“This renewal project is providing high-quality health care when and where we need it” said Fort Langley – Aldergrove MLA Rich Coleman. “Care providers are transforming their aging buildings into larger, newer facilities that are better equipped to care for today’s seniors.”
The $14-million private redevelopment project will triple the space available, from 28,000 to 89,000 square feet, and expand Simpson’s bed capacity from the current 56, with up to four beds sharing one room in some cases, to 96 beds, most of which will be in single-occupant private rooms. Each room will have ceiling lift capability. Other improvements to modernize care for clients with complex care needs include 12-room wings, each with dining and tub rooms, and increased oxygen/suction capability.
Fraser Health will maintain funding and manage admissions to 55 beds in the new facility. The remainder will be private-pay beds with clients making their own arrangements with the facility, as is common in the industry.
“The support and encouragement from Fraser Health, residents, families, our neighbours and elected representatives is very helpful as we work to continue the 70-year legacy of care,” said Ingo Riesen, Chief Financial & Operations Officer for Simpson’s owners, the Decker Corporation. “The new facility, renamed slightly to Simpson Hospital, will respect that history of care, respect residents with a modern setting for care and, as a first-class building, will respect our neighbourhood.”
To minimize disruption for current residents, construction is being phased in. Residents are being accommodated within the existing facility prior to moving to the new facility. Full completion is expected by 2007.