Minister of Seniors & Housing, Lori Sigurdson, visited the residents of the Cold Lake Lodge on June 30th to bring greetings and great news of $14.4 million in funding to help construct a new 61 unit lodge that’ll replace the existing 58 unit building. Minister Sigurdson visited the construction site of the new build, which broke ground a few months prior. Co-chair of the Lakeland Lodge & Housing Foundation and Councillor for the City of Cold Lake, Chris Vining says one of the best parts of the projects is the new units will have substantially greater living space for seniors.
“All the rooms in the new lodge are about three-times the size than what we have in our current lodge. Right now, our seniors are in about 100 square feet, including washrooms. They’re going to be moving into suites with over 300 square feet, with fully handicap accessible washrooms, access for wheelchairs and walkers, independent access for showers. It’ll make a huge difference for the lives of our seniors and the livability.” Councillor Vining explains the facility will allow Alberta Health Services to better assist the residents, “in terms of home care, so they can help seniors and support them in their independent living.”
The small rooms were a huge deterrent for seniors to come to the Cold Lake Lodge. “It was always a huge stumbling block, they’re giving up full-size houses to come and live in 100 square feet rooms,” explains the Councillor, “30-40 years ago, people were accepting of that and it’s just not the way it is anymore with our seniors.”
“It’s exciting to have [Minister Sigurdson] here,” Councillor Vining says it’s great to have the Minister take an interest in the project, “to have her come and see what the plan is and the impact it’ll have on our community is huge. We have another phase after this one we want, it’ll be independent housing, so it’s really important for the Minister to come out and meet the seniors.” Once the lodge is completed there is another phase of independent apartment-style housing in the plans for the Cold Lake Lodge, says Councillor Vining.
“This project started before I got on Council, it’s been a long-journey,” Vining, who is in his second term on Council, recognizes all the efforts put into seeing this project through, “to start seeing dirt moved here was a big deal. It’s all coming together, it’s pretty exciting time and I’m pretty happy for our community and our seniors!”
Minister Sigurdson addressed a full dinning room on Thursday with the message that she, and the Alberta Government, want “seniors to age in the communities they live in. The new lodge gives Cold Lake & area seniors an opportunity to continue living in the community, close to family, friends, and neighbours.”