MLAs Barry Penner and John Les are joined by Heather Cook

‘Bigger, better’ Valleyhaven opens for seniors

A bigger and better Valleyhaven seniors housing opened Friday with a poetry-reading by Grace McDonald one of the original residents.

A bigger and better Valleyhaven seniors housing opened Friday with a poetry-reading by Grace McDonald one of the original residents.

“The food is wonderful and the care is excellent,” the 88-year-old said before reading her poem to a crowd that included Chilliwack MLAs John Les and Barry Penner, and Chilliwack Mayor Sharon Gaetz.

Kevin Svoboda, owner of Kaigo Retirement Communities Ltd. said there were “challenges” in the $16-million redesign of the old facility, particularly keeping 29 residents safely in one half of the building while the other was demolished.

“But it’s one thing to build a facility,” he added, “and another to make it a home.”

For that he credited Valleyhaven’s director, nurses, care staff, recreation and maintenance staff.

“You guys have made this a home,” he said.

Penner said the old facility looking nothing like the “bigger and brighter” Valleyhaven that has taken its place on Menholm Road behind the Chilliwack General Hospital.

“Clearly, the old (facility) was getting a little long in the tooth,” he said.

Privately-owned and operated, the new Valleyhaven has 91 beds, a 40 per cent increase over the 65 in the old facility. The Fraser Health Authority subsidizes 80 beds, and the remaining 11 are privately-funded.

The three-storey building is operated on a “neighbourhood” system, grouping together seniors with similar needs. Each neighbourhood has its own kitchen, dining area and activity space.

The residents’ rooms are larger, and there is a bistro, general store, wellness room, hair salon and recreation areas for residents.

Les said more seniors housing will be needed in the future, “housing that’s clean, comfortable and dignified.”

“Increasing the capacity for residential care in Chilliwack allows our seniors to stay in the community they call home,” he said.

Heather Cook, the FHA’s executive director of residential and assisted living, said she was “delighted to see how beautiful” the new Valleyhaven is.

But she added that the true measure of success is the care seniors receive.

“That comes from the staff,” she said.

There seems to be no worries in that regard, according to McDonald.

“There’s always someone to hold your hand and give you a hug,” she said.

Just Posted

VIDEO: Grand opening of the Vedder Rotary Loop Trail

It took 24 years to complete the 20.8-kilometre trail which runs along the north and south sides of the Vedder River

Chilliwack’s David Lee Roth impersonator applies for a mistrial in underage sex case

David Kuntz-Angel convicted in August but now questions BC Supreme Court Justice’s ‘mental faculties’

B.C. petition calls for seat belts in new school buses

Agassiz bus driver collects 124,000 signatures in support

Hamper registration by Salvation Army is underway now in downtown Chilliwack

Christmas Central is in old Progress building on Spadina Avenue; applications accepted until Dec. 14

Best filmmakers of B.C. and world featured at Chilliwack Independent Film Festival

This marks the third year for CIFF which will be showing 39 different films at Cottonwood 4 Cinemas

Cold, stormy winter forecast across much of Canada, The Weather Network predicts

In British Columbia temperatures will be slightly above normal and precipitation will be just below normal

UPDATED: Vancouver Island’s Joe gets suspended sentence in Teddy the dog cruelty case

Melissa Tooshley expected in court on Thursday in same case

Nineteen boats carrying invasive mussels stopped at B.C. borders

Waters of Columbia-Shuswap still test mussel-free

Woman ‘horrified’ after being told to trek 200 kilometres home from Kamloops hospital

‘I can’t get from Kamloops back to 100 Mile House injured, confused… no shoes, no clothes whatsoever’

Canadian universities encourage exchange students in Hong Kong to head home

UBC said 11 of its 32 students completing programs in Hong Kong have already left

Midget no more: Sweeping division name changes coming to minor hockey in Canada

Alpha-numeric division names will be used for the 2020-2021 season and beyond

Duncan man gets suspended sentence in Teddy the dog cruelty trial

Joe also gets lifetime ban on owning animals

B.C. pushes for greater industry ‘transparency’ in gasoline pricing

Legislation responds to fuel price gap of up to 13 cents

B.C. woman ordered to return dog to ex-boyfriend for $2,000

After the two broke up, documents state, they agree to share custody of the dog, named Harlen

Most Read