RDCK donates land for new seniors’ housing

At the RDCK January board meeting, one hectare of land in Burton was donated to Arrow and Slocan Lakes Community Services

Trisha Shanks

Arrow Lakes News

At the Regional District of Central Kootenay January board meeting, one hectare of land in Burton was donated to Arrow and Slocan Lakes Community Services (ASLCS) for the development of seniors’ housing. The ASLCS board will still need to decide if this is a project that they want to take on or not, which is instrumental to its fruition. The donation of the land is just the first of many steps that it would take to make a building happen in this residential community 30 kilometres south of Nakusp. The type of dwelling is subsidized housing — something like the Rotary Villas in Nakusp, not a medical facility such as Halcyon House — so it only requires the involvement of Social Services but does not involve the Interior Health Authority.

“When folks still have all their faculties and can still drive but can’t really keep their homes up, this type of facility is a way better alternative than being institutionalized and sent wherever there is an empty unit where they don’t know anyone,” said Paul Peterson, Area K Director.

He is referring to one of the greatest challenges facing today’s aging senior: Where to live when the house becomes too much. It’s no secret that lugging firewood and shoveling the driveway become harder the older a person gets. When home maintenance gets to be too much, seniors in rural locations often have little choice but to relocate to an apartment in a city or town due to the lack of apartments in small towns and villages. The options are limited to an apartment where available, moving in with family when possible, or becoming “institutionalized,” essentially a dependent of the government. The latter option means that the person might be moved anywhere within the province where a room is available. This removes them from familiar faces, routines, friends and family.

 

Peterson would like to change this for people in his constituency by facilitating a small, residential complex in the community of Burton. He was instrumental in getting the land donated and will be part of conducting the next several steps to making this happen. There will be the rezoning, the assessment by community services, and public hearings. The people of Burton will be given ample opportunity to hear more about the ideas and planning of the multi-person dwelling.