© — Photo by Cory Hurley/The Western Star
Bride Ducey (left) speaks with Health and Community Services Minister Susan Sullivan during the official opening of the restorative care unit in Corner Brook Wednesday.
CORNER BROOK — The new restorative care unit at the Corner Brook Long Term Care Home is all about hope, optimism and dreams.
Those are the words of Susan Gillam, the chief executive officer of Western Health, during Wednesday’s official opening of the unit.
In the audience, and later front and centre, was proof of just that. Bride Ducey of Corner Brook, 92 years old, was the first patient discharged from the unit which focuses on rehabilitating older adults discharged from hospital.
The unit opened in November, and Ducey is one of three who have already been released to return to their homes or alternative residence. Getting the seniors back to their independent lifestyles not only reduces a strain on long-term care beds, but acute care beds within the system.
Ducey, who lives independently in a basement apartment with her daughter, was excited to attend the official opening. She looked forward to visiting fellow patients and the staff she grew so acquainted with during her stay.
Back on her feet, she said her older brother is already trying to convince her to visit him in St. John’s this summer.
“I’m thinking about it,” she said.
Health and Community Services Minister Susan Sullivan said the 14-bed restorative care unit offers a comprehensive program that focuses on overall health, motivation, and functional independence that allows for a safe transition back to the individual’s community and home.
“The new unit allows for better use of acute care beds and will complement the current and future services offered at the long-term care facility and the new regional hospital currently in development,” she said.
The minister said government is aware of the shortage of acute care and long-term care beds in this region. She said it is why there is such an investment in this field of health care. The unit cost $2.8 million.
Meanwhile, Corner Brook Mayor Charles Pender recognizes the importance of such a facility for the entire family of elderly patients.
“Providing rehabilitative services in Corner Brook makes it easier for people on the west coast who support their family members while they are receiving care,” he said.