Seniors in the Vermilion community needing long term full-time care will soon no longer have to look further away to find it.

The Vermilion & District Housing Foundation was approved by the Alberta Government last week to provide Designated Support Living 4 and Dementia Supported Living 4. DSL4 supports seniors with complex medical needs by having a 24-hour licensed practical nurse on-site, ready to provide the high level of care needed.

VDHF Chair and Vermilion Mayor Caroline McAuley says before, seniors would have to sometimes move hours out of town to receive this care.

“We were having people placed as far as Lamont or Daysland, that’s not exactly a commutable trip on a regular basis. So this allows for people to stay in a community where their friends are, where the families are, where their familiar surroundings are.”

Over the next few months, the VDHF will be working with Alberta Health Services, entering into required agreements to sustain DSL4 and DSL4D care. This means more funding for the VDHF as well, which will go towards things like capital equipment funding and renovation costs.

The VDHF will be moving beds from the underused DSL3 phase, as the government has been encouraging them to use space that has been under-utilized. In this proposal, there would be eighteen DSL3 beds and forty for DSL4.

Another benefit is keeping seniors, especially spouses or family members, together and in their home community while still getting the care they need, McAuley explains.

“It allows their spouse to come and have meals with them, see them on a regular basis, so they are not separated, and they can age from going from the Lodge, going to supportive living, going to SL4, and then before, they would have to leave our facility. So it’s keeping everybody under the same roof, and allows them to remain together and to age together.”

McCauley adds that they’re shooting for Fall 2021 to begin the building process.