For more than 100 years the Father Lacombe Care Centre has been committed to compassionate, quality care for adults who can no longer care for themselves. Now, in response to growing need, an inspiring project is underway to more than double access to this extraordinary community of care.
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A booming dilemma

Most aging Albertans enjoy good health, quality of life, and want to live independently for as long as possible.

While many are able to do that, there comes a time for some when living at home – even with help – is no longer the right or safe option.

When that occurs Albertans can seek a ‘supportive living’ arrangement – a home-like setting where all services needed are provided; where health and personal care is on-site 24 hours a day; and where residents can enjoy as much privacy and independence as their abilities allow.

For those with more difficult health issues – such as end-of-life needs, complex medication management, or behaviours that place them or others at risk – there is also the option of ‘long-term care’.

Long-term care is provided in designated facilities under the direction of a family physician, through the supervision of an onsite Registered Nurse, and with the support of Licensed Practical Nurses, Health Care Aides and others.

At any given time more than 1,000 Albertans are awaiting placement into continuing care facilities. Many are occupying beds in hospitals – a situation that the Health Quality Council of Alberta lists as a key cause of chronic, excessive waits of seriously ill patients in Alberta Emergency Response units.

What’s more, hospitals were never designed to deliver the type of care required by the elderly. Their mandate is to ‘cure’ patients and discharge them as soon as it is safe to do so. They don’t, for example, provide programs to keep the aging engaged in living. They don’t prepare food with regard to palettes or a patient’s ability to chew and swallow. And they don’t have the time to get elderly patients up and dressed to prevent skin breakdowns and wounds that are difficult to heal.

Living in a setting that matches a senior’s level of need, mobility and care is important for their safety, dignity and quality of life. And the challenge of providing sufficient access to such settings is now being compounded by a wave of baby-boomers who will double the population of Albertans over the age of 75 within the next 20 years.

Solutions are needed now to ensure sufficient access to care is available today and in the future for aging Albertans who built Canada’s Medicare system and supported it with their taxes and health care premiums.

Building a solution

For more than 100 years, the Father Lacombe Care Centre has provided an extraordinary home-like environment of compassion for adults who can no longer care for themselves. Currently the centre accommodates 114 residents. About half suffer from progressive dementia-related diseases. Others are physically compromised or frail.

In response to current and anticipated needs, the Father Lacombe Care Centre is planning to more than double access to its unique brand of care by constructing a $38.5 million ‘sister’ facility across the road on the same South Calgary property in the community of Midnapore.

The new facility will be known as the ‘Providence Care Centre’ and will provide an additional 160 spaces for provision of the same personalized quality care for which the Father Lacombe Centre is renowned.

The Providence Care Centre will be owned by the Sisters of Charity of Providence of Western Canada. It will be operated as a non-profit by the Father Albert Lacombe Home Society with the dedicated support of more than 150 volunteers.

All are driven by the Centre’s values of compassion, spirituality, justice, excellence and sacredness of life -- and welcome the varying religious beliefs and affiliations (or non-affiliations) of all of its residents.

One hundred and twenty studio rooms in the Providence Care Centre will be designated for ‘Supportive Living’ – for residents with stable or predictable health needs and wishing to enjoy privacy and independence with the comfort of knowing required health and personal care supports are on site when needed.

Thirty rooms will be designated for ‘Long-Term Care’ – for residents with complex, unpredictable medical needs who require continuous access to a Registered Nurse for assessment and treatment. The remaining 10 rooms will be funded in partnership with the Roman Catholic Diocese of Calgary and designated for the use of retired Priests and other clergy.

The Providence Care Centre will offer 24-hour direct medical, nursing/clinical care and a variety of programs and activities designed to keep bodies moving, brains active and spirits lifted.

Residents will enjoy beautiful surroundings and lifestyle choices that range from large social events to cosier group activities, such as games and crafts.

Residents are placed through Alberta Health Services. The government pays for the provision of health care, such as nursing and medical treatment, including most prescription drugs. Clients pay for food and accommodation at a rate set by the provincial government.

A place to call home

The Providence Care Centre will be comprised of seven ‘neighbourhoods’ of 23-bed units. Resident studio rooms will include a private kitchenette with microwave and refrigerator; and a barrier-free three-piece bathroom. Residents and their families will have the opportunity to personalize the space by adding a favourite chair, art work and mementos that hold special meaning.

All residents will have access to common areas that include libraries, lounges, a bistro and a family dining room for special occasions. Seasonally-landscaped gardens will feature walking paths, sitting areas and gazebos.

The Care Centre will also incorporate state-of-the-art climate control, security technology, medical and geriatric equipment, WiFi and internet, and other entertainment and recreational services. Plans also call for a new chapel and more space for the Adult Day Program for non-residents.

Architectural renderings

Architect's rendering of the exterior of the Father Lacombe Centre

Architect's rendering of the interior of the new Father Lacombe Centre

Architect's rendering of one of the rooms at the Father Lacombe Centre

Architect's rendering of the external garden at the Father Lacombe Centre Architect's rendering of the community dining area at the new Father Lacombe Centre

CARE to invest?

As an accredited Alberta care centre, the Father Lacombe Care Centre has received funding from the Provincial Government to address a portion of the capital costs required to construct Providence Care Centre.

As a non-profit registered charitable organization, the Father Lacombe Care Centre Foundation is seeking donations to address remaining capital costs related to development, building and landscaping, plus the purchase of specialized equipment such as overhead lifts, baths and beds.

Our current priorities include:

Providence Care Centre

Area of NeedTargetOutstanding
Furniture, fixtures and equipment, including overhead lifts for 94 rooms $2,625,000 $400,000
Gardens: Two out of the three gardens are just grass and need to be developed with walking paths, raised gardens and benches to enjoy the sights, sounds and smells $600,000 $560,000
Programs $30,000 Annually $30,000

The Chapel for Providence Care Centre

Design costs, construction, furniture, fixtures and equipment $2,500,000 $1,900,000

Father Lacombe Care Centre

Ongoing Programs $50,000 annually
Replacement Costs for Equipment $35,000 annually

You can make a difference in the lives of those who are no longer safe or able to remain in their own homes. Please visit our Donation Page now to learn of different ways to help, or call 403.254.6280.