Crews work on the Monashee Mews residential care facility on Norris Avenue in Lumby Tuesday.

Crews work on the Monashee Mews residential care facility on Norris Avenue in Lumby Tuesday.

Seniors complex bolsters Lumby

Monashee Mews, a 46-bed residential care facility, is rapidly taking shape on Norris Avenue in Lumby...

A giant crane has lifted optimism to new heights in Lumby.

Monashee Mews, a 46-bed residential care facility, is rapidly taking shape on Norris Avenue, and there is the hope that it will not only benefit seniors and their families but the community at large.

“There’s already people looking to buy homes up on the hill because of it, and families that are applying for jobs here are starting to shop around the village office to see what kind of facilities and schools we have,” said Mayor Kevin Acton.

For years, seniors not able to live at home and requiring care have had to leave Lumby. That situation will change when the Mews opens next spring.

“Families will be able to stay together,” said Acton.

“I’ve witnessed heart-breaking stories and people are lonely and sad because they are separated from their families.”

The new facility will also have a positive impact on residents in Cherryville and rural Lumby.

“This will keep people a lot closer,” said Eugene Foisy, Cherryville director.

The issue of seniors care first arose in about 1986 and it has been on Lumby’s agenda ever since.

“This has been a long time coming,” said Eric Foster, Vernon-Monashee MLA and a Lumby resident.

“A lot of people have put a lot of effort into it.”

The 46 beds will be funded by the Interior Health Authority and Monashee Mews will be operated by inSite Housing, Hospitality and Health Services.

“We’re not building an institution, we’re building a home,” said Carole Holmes, inSite president.

The $10-million facility will be for complex care, with 10 beds designated for people with head injuries.

There is no guarantee all of the beds will be for Lumby area residents.

“People here will get preference,” said Foster, adding, though, that IHA must look at broad regional needs.

“There won’t be beds empty here and if someone in Coldstream needs a bed, there’s a bed (if one is available).”