People with Alzheimer’s disease and their families have a new home – and new hope – with today’s opening of the Czorny Alzheimer Centre by the family who has dreamed for 20 years of building such a facility.
“Alzheimer’s is a terrible disease that can strike at the heart of a family,” said Marilyn Stewart, who with her husband Chick provided the land and capital funding for the innovative residential care facility and outreach service dedicated in the name of her parents. “Our prayer is that this Centre will ensure that people with Alzheimer’s and their families will receive the care, support and hope they need.”
Canada’s Governor General Michaelle Jean, who is also honorary patron of the Alzheimer Society of Canada, sent her greetings to those responsible for the success of the project.
“I am impressed by the support shown by everyone who has devoted themselves to the success of the Czorny Alzheimer Centre; your labours do not go unnoticed,’” Her Excellency said in a letter. “They are celebrated, respected and admired by those whose lives you have touched.”
Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias affect an estimated 450,000 people in Canada, 63,500 of them in British Columbia. It begins gradually and progressively impacts memory and thinking. It is estimated that 750,000 Canadians will have Alzheimer’s or a related disease by the year 2031 if a cure is not found.
Czorny Alzheimer Centre resulted from unique partnership of the Stewart family, Fraser Health and the Alzheimer Society of B.C. Fraser Health will operate the centre. The Society will open a resource centre at Czorny which will provide information to the public.
“The provincial government is proud of this facility and is grateful for the Stewart family’s remarkable generosity,” said Kevin Falcon, Minister of Transportation and Liberal MLA for Surrey-Cloverdale. “The Czorny Centre will prove to be a valuable resource to everyone within the Fraser Health region.”
Betty Anne Busse, Fraser Health executive vice-president of health promotion and community programs, said she hopes that Czorny will become a model for the care of people with Alzheimer’s disease and their families throughout British Columbia. “This centre and its staff will provide a nurturing environment that will enhance the lives of its residents by focusing on the abilities, strengths and interests of each of them.”
When Czorny is fully operational, it will employ 40 permanent staff, including five registered nurses and registered psychiatric nurses, 24 residential care facility attendants, a music therapist, recreation therapist, a social worker, rehabilitation personnel and support staff. The 33,000 square foot centre will be home for 36 residents and is designed to provide psychological security and comfort through three home-like cottage living spaces. The environment will serve to enrich the residents’ lives through activities appropriate for people with Alzheimer’s disease.
“The Society’s resource centre at Czorny will provide information and support services to the people linked to the facility – the professional staff, people with Alzheimer’s and their families – as well as people in the greater community,” said Rosemary Rawnsley, executive director of the Alzheimer Society of B.C.
The Alzheimer Society of B.C. exists to alleviate the personal and social consequences of Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias, to promote public awareness, and to search for the causes and the cures. The Society’s vision is to create a world without Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias.
Covering an area that stretches from Burnaby to White Rock to Boston Bar, Fraser Health serves 1.5 million people. A major force in health care, Fraser health is a community of 22,000 people who share a common goal of ensuring every resident in the health authority has access to quality care when they need it. Our quality health care services range from acute care hospitals to community-based residential, home health, mental health and public health services.
For more information:
Senior Media Relations Consultant
Senior Manager of Communications
Alzheimer Society of British Columbia
Ph: 604.681.6530 ext. 317