Closure of Pine Acres Home on Westbank First Nation
Westbank First Nation (WFN) is beginning the process of transitioning towards the closure of its long-term care facility, Pine Acres Home. With the health and well-being of residents being of the utmost concern, WFN has identified that due to the implementation of new provincial COVID-19 requirements for long-term care facilities, the continued operation of the facility is no longer deemed feasible.
“Westbank First Nation is proud of being the only community with a long-term care facility on-reserve. For almost 40 years, we have provided quality care for our Elders and seniors from other communities. Pre-COVID, our plan was to expand the facility, to enhance its long-term feasibility; but in these unstable times in the health-care industry, compounded with the new public health order for mandatory COVID vaccinations for health-care workers, we have found ourselves unable to continue to ensure sufficient staffing levels in providing high-quality care to our residents,” said Chief Christopher Derickson. “The staffing concerns by all stakeholders, led us to make the difficult but necessary decision to provide notice to our Membership, Pine Acres Home residents and their caregivers, Pine Acres Home staff, and Interior Health, that we will be beginning the transition towards closing Pine Acres Homes’ doors.”
Prior consultations with Westbank First Nation Membership also raised the question of whether Pine Acres Home was still meeting the Elders’ care needs of the Members, particularly in light of the notable trend of less and less member-residents in the facility over recent years. This current circumstance has provided WFN with an opportunity to rethink the future of its care delivery model, considering increased assisted living and aging-in-place options.
Moving forward, Interior Health will work closely with residents and families to plan and facilitate safe and smooth transitions to alternate care homes, for each person currently residing at Pine Acres. Interior Health is also supporting Pine Acres to ensure staff are aware of available job opportunities to continue working in long-term care in the Central Okanagan.
Pine Acres Home is targeting to close January 2022, only once all residents have transitioned to their new homes. Westbank First Nation will continue to work closely with Pine Acres Home staff, their union and Interior Health to help find new employment.