It’s been a long time coming, but Lake Cowichan’s proposed senior care facility is taking a small step forward this month.
Mayor Ross Forrest announced earlier this month that the Town of Lake Cowichan had received an age-friendly action plan grant of $19,850, which would be used to hire a contract planner to research the needs of Lake Cowichan’s senior population as well as the necessary steps for the town in order to move forward with the project.
The contract planner will be presenting his report next Tuesday (March 31) to council, along with a new volunteer group dedicated to facilitating the senior care facility.
David Lowther, one of the first residents to join the new group, said he first became aware of the community’s need for a facility when his friend’s wife was put into a long-term care facility in Chemainus, which, at nearly an hour away, hosts the closest facility of its kind.
“They’re not the only ones in that situation,” Lowther said. “A lot of us don’t want to end up somewhere where we don’t know anybody. Being pragmatic, I don’t want to be in that situation in a few years. I don’t want to live in Chemainus.”
The project has been on council’s table for quite a while, and as evidenced by the questioning at last month’s public meeting, it remains a high priority for many residents.
Though issues of health are not typically left to municipal governments, as Lowrie explained, the role of council in the coming years will be to “agitate the need” on behalf of residents
“All [the Town] can do is lobby and support us in principal, they can’t just wave a magic wand and make it happen,” Lowrie said. “It’s going to be a long, boring process – but that’s good, as long as it works.”
Those interested in being part of the new group can contact the town office at 250-749-6681 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.