The Government of Alberta has invested $28 million to build a new 100-unit complex to replace Piper Creek Lodge in Red Deer.
Built in 1956, the facility is the oldest seniors lodge in Alberta and is one of the few low-income seniors facility in the area.
This has been a long journey for Piper Creek Lodge, with the process beginning nearly 10 years ago and the project only confirmed this past year.
Officials say the current facility has exceeded its lifespan and would require major safety upgrades and renovations if they wanted to continue to use it.
In addition, the new complex will have 100 units, versus the 60 units the current lodge has.
Officials say the need for a low-income seniors facility is urgent right now, with the number of seniors requiring them increasing every year.
“With the baby boomers starting to retire, we are getting more and more seniors needing to be put in homes, and unfortunately low-income seniors can’t afford to live in a high-end retirement facility,” says Darren Young, Board Chair of Bridges Community Living. “Right now, we have well over 100 people on the waiting list waiting to be accepted into our low-income seniors facility. The new one will be bigger and much more modern so we can give different types of care that is necessary.”
Red Deer - South MLA Barb Miller announced the investment and believes it is long overdue.
“Seniors are the backbone of our society," says Miller, "They built this community and they deserve to be treated with dignity and have homes that are comfortable, fresh and a place they can live within the general area of their family and friends. I know when my mom had to move into a seniors lodge she was on the list for two years before she was accepted into the lodge near her so she could be close to family and friends.
"It means a lot to the seniors," continues Miller. "In many cases these people are leaving the home that they’ve been in for years and when they are torn away from that, they need something that is homey and comfortable.”
Officials say residents of Piper Creek will stay in the original lodge while construction is taking place on the new site, which is only half a kilometre away.
Construction is projected to start sometime in the next year and residents can expect to move in by 2021.
In 2015, the former PC government announced $12.2 million to replace the 65-unit Piper Creek Lodge.
Last March, the current government announced just over $5.6 million in planning funds for 14 affordable housing projects across the province, including $250,000 for the replacement of Piper Creek Lodge.
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