Skip to content

Robots, technology take care in B.C.'s innovative new dementia village

Robots, technology take care in B.C.'s innovative new dementia village

Technology Sector Technology Services

Robots, tunable lighting and resident-centred care all featured in new facility

In just under a week, residents of a new innovative long-term care home in Comox will start moving in.

Providence Living at the Views, located at 211 Rodello Street in Comox, is the country's first public, non-profit long-term care home that is based on the dementia village concept. The idea is to create a small-scale community that is designed to give residents the highest quality of life by promoting a sense of purpose and belonging. Residents at the Views will have autonomy in most of their daily decisions, and will foster a sense of community engagement through being able to safely live full lives in the facility.

The facility is an inclusive care home that gives residents their independence, social connections and personal routines. It is designed primarily for seniors with and without dementia, but will be home to younger adults who require long-term care. Care will be shifted from the traditional model to a new social and relational model of care that approaches the person first. People living in the facility will have flexible routines and the pace and rhythm of the day will be set by the residences. 

"By embracing the Home for Us care model ...  we are replacing the conventional, institutional approach  with one that truly honours each resident's individuality and daily well-being," said Providence Living president and CEO Mark Blandford.

With 13 different households, each with 12 residents who will get their own private suites, bathrooms and more, the facility will be home to 156 residents. It is located on the former site of St. Joseph's Hospital in Comox. Each "household" will have a kitchen, shared laundry, and a community room, and residents will have access to a bistro, library, convenience store and more common areas. In the centre courtyard of the facility is a shared space featuring gardens, a playground for younger visitors, a chapel and a sacred gathering space for First Nations residents. That space was designed with input from the K'omoks First Nation.

The care model is not the only innovation at the new facility. Rooms have a tunable lighting system that will help people identify spaces they want to go, and help with maintaining a proper sleep rhythm. The facility is also equipped with location information devices. Residents will wear a sensor that gives staff real-time information about a resident's whereabouts as well as their biometric data. The devices, which will either be a kind of bracelet or necklace or sewn into clothing for residents with sensory issues, will also allow residents to enter and exit certain doors, allowing them freedom of movement. Finally supplies will be moved around the facility by use of autonomous robots, which will deliver things like food and laundry to specific areas that need them.

Blandford said that the Providence Living team will also be conducting research into the project for the next five years to build a "robust data set" about the efficacy of this kind of program, which he hopes will then be expanded to other facilities across the province.

Health Minister Adrian Dix was at the unveiling and tour of the facility. He said that the province is seeing a growing population, and one that is also aging.

"As the population ... ages rapidly, our government is dedicated to ensuring that seniors are well supported within their communities," he said. Dix added that the province is investing over $2 billion in other facilities like this located in Nanaimo, Vancouver, Colwood, Abbotsford, Richmond, Prince George, Delta, Campbell River and Cranbrook. "By investing in transformative long-term care homes, we are putting seniors' needs at the forefront and working to help maintain their independence. In these homes, seniors, especially those with Alzheimers' Disease and dementia, can thrive in a healthy, supportive and safe environment."

More development plans are underway for the remaining 13.92 acres of waterfront lands at the facility. The goal is to develop the area into a mixed-use community and boost the community-focused long-term care village and senior-centric facilities.

Additional Info

Media Contact : Victoria News

Source :

Powered By GrowthZone
Scroll To Top