As the largest long-term care home in the East Kootenays, Swan Valley Lodge has been a pillar of the Creston Valley community for the last 53 years.
“We specialize in end-of-life care by meeting the residents’ needs through patient-centred care,” said Kendra Kruger, manager of clinical operations for long-term care.
There are currently 90 residents living in the facility and 160 staff in all different roles from nurses to maintenance workers. The residents’ interaction with staff is ongoing — 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
In a small town like Creston, everyone is connected to Swan Valley Lodge by someone who lives or works there.
During the pandemic when restrictions have been placed on outside visitors, the group within the walls of the facility have become closer than ever.
“They’re like family to us. We’ve built some really special bonds,” said Lindsay Meszarosi, program lead and management assistant. “We spend a lot of time here together.”
Even now, all visitors to the facility are required to be double vaccinated.
”Some of our residents who live here have family members who aren’t vaccinated,” said Meszarosi. “So we try to spend extra time with those who aren’t getting to see their loved ones.”
The residents have built a home within each other as well. They get together for daily recreation activities and often chat over a cup of coffee or a glass of wine.
“Long-term care is actually pretty special,” said Krueger, who has worked at Swan Valley Lodge for 25 years. “It’s not what a lot of people think it is. We are bright and cheery.”
This sense of positivity is reflected in comments from the residents, with one saying, “Nurses, care staff and all staff here are so good to us. It feels like home here.”
Another commented, “I feel safe here. I feel so well taken care of and so cared about.”
To continue giving the residents the best quality of life possible, the East Kootenay Foundation for Health is currently fundraising $180,000 through the annual Starlite Season campaign to replace bedroom furniture in every single room in Mountain View Terrace and the Harris units.
“The existing furniture is from 1996. It’s worn down and has done its time,” said Krueger. “As we’re moving people into Swan Valley Lodge, we want to make them feel good and give them a beautiful space.”
The cost is approximately $3,000 per residential room to replace with hospital grade, senior-friendly furniture. Hospital grade is more expensive to be up to code with infection control and safety features.
Donate online at ekfh.ca or call 1-877-489-6481.