Boundary Lodge gets ready to celebrate

The assisted living facility will host an open house on Tuesday in honour of its 10th anniversary.

Staff members Kathleen Kaye (left) and Colleen Verigin serving cupcakes for Christmas 2014 at the Boundary Lodge. The lodge will have reason to celebrate more than the holiday season this month!

Boundary Lodge is hosting an open house Dec. 1 in honour of its 10th anniversary.

Boundary Lodge houses 17 residents and is considered assisted living. Although the lodge has been around since 1970, it wasn’t until Dec. 1, 2005 that it was taken over by the Grand Forks and District Housing Society (GFDHS) and reopened as an assisted living facility.

The society was formed in 1995 in order to obtain funding from the B.C. Real Estate Foundation for a needs assessment of housing for the City of Grand Forks.

In 1999, the society split in two in order to accommodate the operation and management of the Gables, which opened in December 1999. The Gables, which featured 25 units of affordable family housing units, would be operated under the Gables Society, while The Grand Forks and District Housing Society would look at other opportunities for providing housing in the area.

“In 2003, our society was approached by Interior Health to operate an assisted living facility,” said Judith Lloyd, chair of GFDHS. “The federal government was providing funding for senior’s housing (specifically assisted living). Assisted living was a new concept for B.C. It was determined that Grand Forks would receive some federal capital funding for 17 units.”

The old Boundary Lodge, which was a 31-unit nursing home, was to be the recipient of the conversion from nursing home to assisted living facility.

“Boundary Lodge had been phased out and completely shut down,” said Lloyd. “They phased it out because Hardy View was being built and they figured it was a better building. Then a few years later the government of the day said we’re behind the times, we don’t have anything for assisted living. The federal government put some funds together and matched funds with the provincial government and partnerships were formed.”

Partnering for the project with GFDHS were B.C. Housing and Interior Health (IH).

IH takes care of personal care and part of the hospitality services, while B.C. Housing maintains the lands and buildings and cares for part of the hospitality services. GFDHS is run by a volunteer board which takes care of management and policy for the lodge.

Lloyd explains that assisted living is in between independent living and full care (nursing home). “You have to have two things you need assistance with, but not more than that,” said Lloyd. “They could be help with dressing, help with bathing, help with remembering meds—but you can’t be completely reliant on the staff. You have to be able to direct your care. You also have to be able to transfer yourself. You can have a wheelchair but you have to be able to bear your own weight and transfer yourself from your chair to the bed, for example.”

Tenants at Boundary Lodge are charged 70 per cent of their after-tax income. Interior Health gives the society a per diem rate for personal care services and shared hospitality services. B.C. Housing sets a dollar value for each unit and provides subsidies when necessary. They also provide a portion of the funds for the hospitality services.

“We’re licenced for 17,” said Lloyd. “When Boundary Lodge was a nursing home it had 40 residents and double rooms and everything. It was completely renovated at a cost of about $2.5 million. We now have all single person suites.”

Lloyd does say they occasionally have married couples. “We had a couple there that celebrated their 70th wedding anniversary,” she said. “He passed away some time after but she’s still there.”

Lloyd said the lodge is known for being a comfortable, homestyle building. “It’s quite small by some standards but it’s really quite good in that it’s very friendly and family oriented. Everyone takes care of each other.”

Each unit has a microwave and a fridge. The lodge provides two meals a day (lunch and dinner) as well as snacks. Residents also have acess to a community kitchen if they wish to bake cookies or anything like that.

“It’s quite a nice set up,” she said. “We have a very diverse group there with various backgrounds and of different ages. We just recenty had a mother and daughter situation there. We as a board believe that we’re here for the community.”

Lloyd said if they see a need they will work to provide it. “We want to provide care in the community and we go above and beyond as does the staff,” she said.

The board consists of nine members each with a portfolio: Lloyd, operations management and governance; Roy Stevenson, human resources; Linda Latkin, financial management; Marguerite Rotvold, hospitality services; Henry Klassen/Irene Semenoff, community relations; Merle Vanderbreg, personal care services; George Semenoff/Steve Horkoff, plant operations. Joe Tatangelo is the liaison for Christina Lake.

The celebration at the lodge for the 10th annivesary will take place on Tuesday, Dec. 1 from 2 – 4 p.m. and will feature an open house with drinks, cake, tea, snacks and more.