EDITORIAL: Inglewood Care Centre rebuild is good news for West Vancouverites in their golden years

Like many, we were caught completely off guard by the sale of West Vancouver’s Inglewood Care Centre to the non-profit Baptist Housing, which now has plans to redevelop the 1963 facility.

As far as we can tell, this is good news, especially for West Vancouverites of a certain age.

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Under its previous private owner, Unicare, Inglewood had a checkered reputation, with frequent labour disputes over contract flipping. In 2017, B.C.’s seniors advocate found it was badly short-staffed and that it had almost three times the provincial average of falls/adverse events resulting in injuries as well as slightly higher incidences of viral outbreaks, wandering seniors, aggression, and other injuries.

West Vancouverites may be champions of the private sector but when it comes to seniors, we are essentially putting a very expensive middleman between our loved ones and their caregivers.

We would like to think plans to replace the older units for new ones won’t face too much opposition. Buildings, much like people, eventually reach an end of their life and we do no one any favours by pretending that either will last forever.

But, when it comes to adding more seniors’ housing next to Taylor Way, like everything new proposed to West Van council, we are fretting another exhausting knock-down drag-out fight that pits neighbourhood character against the very well documented needs of the community at large.

The 2016 census found people over the age of 65 made up almost 28 per cent of the total population in West Vancouver, one of the most rapidly aging communities in B.C. When the grey wave crests, we want to be ready.

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