Moosomin - The Assisted Living Committee in Wawota recently received a $25,000 grant from the federal government in support of their upcoming project of building units for seniors who are in need of assisted living.
“We’ve been wanting to get something going for the seniors here in Wawota,” said Kevin Kay, chair of the committee.
“We’ve watched individuals, even over the last two years, who had to pack up and head somewhere else like Regina, Kipling, Moosomin or wherever. But we’ve just watched this exodus of seniors leaving and I’m looking at it going, if we had a facility here, then they wouldn’t have to do that.”
Although the town has a long-term care facility — Deer View Lodge — there is no place in the community for seniors who are in need of minimal assistance.
“Deer View Lodge is an acute care centre, and there’s no step in between of them living on their own and going to the nursing home, so this would be that intermediate step” said Kay.
“They just need some help doing things around the house. They need help doing the simple things we tend to take for granted, but even just providing a meal in a common room it would be significant for a number of individuals.”
He says it’s important for seniors to have a place in Wawota because it’s a community that they are used to, and a community that they belong to.
“This is their home to them, and to move to somewhere else you’re just out of sight and out of mind,” he says.
“For these people who have grown up in the community, you know to leave is really hard for a lot of them. So just been wondering and investigating what the possibilities are, of meeting that need here in the community is rather exciting so we put together the project and we’re seeing where we are going.”
Although the committee project started in fall of 2019, the Assisted Living Committee did not receive the grant until 2021, due to funding opportunities and lack of being able to have in-person meetings.
Kay said receiving the grant brought him joy because it means that the project is still underway.
“It’s a breath of fresh air really, because it really gives the project some legitimacy and it really does help us getting down to that next step.”
Right now the Assisted Living Committee is in the process of looking for a location for the facility, and have already applied for a federal government grant of $150,000.
“We’re in the process right now of looking for a location, we’re looking at size, there’s a number of things we have to take into consideration, but we will be starting right from scratch and putting together this facility,” says Kay.
“It’s just a matter of finding a location and seeing if we can actually purchase the land. Ideally we would like to have it donated, but if we have to purchase it then we need cash for that and a bunch of other things.”
“We haven’t started fundraising as of yet, as far as looking for other sources of income to begin the project, but we want to at least get the momentum rolling so that we can then put together brochures, put together prospects for what this project is going to look like.”
Kay says the grant the committee applied for, would be their seed money for the building of the project.
“It’s another federal grant, CMHC, and that is pure seed money for organizations like ourselves. At the stage where we are because they understand that a project like this, really does need seed money to start the investigation. To see if this is a viable project, if you are putting together brochures or holding meetings, and all those sorts of things.”
The next step to move forward with the project Kay says is to find a location in Wawota, to build the Assisted Living facility.
“The next step is to secure a location and once that is secure, we’ll start putting a design, we’ll start putting together a specific plan for the facility.”
The four individuals a part of the Assisted Living Committee, including Kay, continue to look for an ideal spot for their upcoming project.