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No more assisted living

The assisted living floor of the Gibsons Garden Inn, the Coast's only assisted living facility, is closing because there is not enough care currently being provided there, says the newly created Office of the Assisted Living Registrar.

The assisted living floor of the Gibsons Garden Inn, the Coast's only assisted living facility, is closing because there is not enough care currently being provided there, says the newly created Office of the Assisted Living Registrar.

British Columbia is the first province in Canada to regulate assisted living residences by setting up the registrar and bringing in new legislation for the facilities.

Under the new legislation, assisted living facilities have to measure up to certain standards relating to health and safety of the clients, which the Gibsons Garden Inn failed to do.

"What it ultimately comes down to is there is not enough care being provided at the Gibsons Garden Inn," said Vivianna Zannocco of Vancouver Coastal Health.

Gibsons Garden Inn has 14 clients on its assisted living floor who are currently being moved to assisted living facilities off Coast, upgraded to stay in homes like Kiwanis or Shorncliffe, or temporarily sent home with family members and given additional support if needed, said the health authority.

"We are working with the families and residents to find other alternatives. At the moment, there is no other formal assisted living facility on the Coast. But as you know, the new Good Samaritan building is set to open in February of next year in Gibsons. Unfortunately, the timing doesn't mesh," said Clive Camm, regional communications officer for Vancouver Coastal Health.Many feel the government has an obligation to allow the floor to stay open at the Gibsons Garden Inn until the Good Samaritan project is built, which will house 60 assisted living spaces.

"I am extremely upset by these changes (as I'm sure many residents and their caregivers are) - the last thing my 94-year-old father needs is to be moved twice within a one-year period," said local resident Jackie Phelan. (A letter by Phelan appears on page A11 of this week's Coast Reporter).

She hopes to fight the registrar on this ruling and invites others to join her.

"If there are any caregivers/residents out there who are or may be impacted by this decision and who would like to discuss it and other options that might be available with me, I would enjoy talking with them. They may contact me via email at jphelan@dccnet.com or phone me. I'm in the book," she said.

Gibsons Garden Inn is a privately owned facility. Requests by Coast Reporter for an interview were denied this week by owner Erma Hohn.

There are also two palliative care beds at the inn as well as 17 regular care beds that will not be affected by the changes, said Vancouver Coastal Health officials.