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Canmore family frustrated by lack of seniors’ care despite brand-new facility

It’s a scenic slice of the Rocky Mountains that draws millions of visitors every year, but some suggest Canmore, Alta., is becoming a destination increasingly difficult to call home.

“She’d like to stay in the community, but she has to go into assisted living,” local resident Richard Withington said of his mother.

His 86-year-old mother has lived in the town and has been a Canmore taxpayer for more than two decades. But her health is declining as dementia settles in.

“Since my father passed away my mother has been living by herself to the point that we’ve had to get care for her,” said Withington.

Fortunately, an addition to the Bow River Senior Citizen’s Lodge was completed in 2021. Thirty of the units are designated for dementia patients, but so far, Withington says, it has yet to open.

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“They give a timeline that keeps getting pushed further and further back.”

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New nursing program aims to bring more health-care workers into Alberta

In many ways, Canmore is a community grappling with its own success.

“We have a limited footprint, high desirability, which means a high cost of housing,” said Mayor Sean Krausert.

SE Health, which staffs the senior’s lodge, did not respond to Global News’ request for comment.

Bow Valley Regional Housing Authority said housing availability is a critical issue, impacting recruitment throughout the region. It suggested SE Health is working very hard at staffing up.

While some employers in the Bow Valley build their own accommodations, that’s not always an option.

Town council is looking to bring in tax incentives for long-term residency and phase out short-term rentals to create more spaces for would-be care home employees to live.


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