Opposition to the proposed changes at The Gardens is almost unanimous. At least, this was the case at three meetings on the subject I attended. And, with very good reason!
In order to improve profit margins, Retirement Concepts and partners plan to reduce access to daylight and public space for residents on the third floor. At the same time, these private-for-profit companies intend to increase residential density on the floor by six per cent.
Tens of thousands of dollars per month of increased revenue for these companies, at the expense of quality of life benefits for the 100 third floor residents. Shame!
Third floor residents require a high level of care. Many elderly residents use wheel chairs, many use walkers. Most are shut-ins to the third floor itself. For many, their only view of the outside world and access to daylight is through the very windows these companies intend to close off.
Retirement Concepts intends to increase residential density of the third floor by six per cent while reducing the floor’s public space by approximately 30 per cent. Gone will be the craft room. Gone will be the sun room. And, there will be left no single space large enough to accommodate all residents of the floor for regularly held special events.
In its original design and construction The Gardens Qualicum Beach was held to be a shining example of a graduated-care campus for seniors. A campus with a broad range of amenities to stimulate aging minds and to care for aging bodies.
As it stands, The Gardens is a community of care; it is not just another institution. It is a place many of us might consider home in our declining years. Are we, the residents of Qualicum Beach and surrounds willing to let Private-for-Profit motives spoil this caring community?
Ian Williams, Nanoose Bay