Care centre complete

On June 12, the Czorny Alzheimer Centre in Cloverdale celebrated completion of its second phase.

From left: Lois Dixon

From left: Lois Dixon

Five years after first opening its doors, the final phase of the Czorny Alzheimer Centre in Cloverdale is complete – and double its original size.

On June 12, supporters, residents and dignitaries gathered to celebrate.

The residential care facility, located at 16850 66 Avenue, now provides expert care and homes to 72 residents in six cottage-like residences.

It’s named for Michael and Nancy Czorny. Their daughter, Marilyn Stewart, watched her father battle with the devastating effects of the disease for nine years.

When he passed away in 1985 at the age of 73, she made a commitment to do whatever she could to help people with Alzheimer’s disease.

Marilyn and Chick Stewart donated the land and capital costs to develop the Czorny Alzheimer Centre, which operates as a partnership between Fraser Health, the Alzheimer Society of British Columbia, and the Czorny Alzheimer Centre Society.

The Stewart’s vision is a partnership and care model that can be replicated elsewhere in B.C.

“Alzheimer’s disease is a terrible disease that can strike at the heart of a family,” said Marilyn Stewart.

“Our prayer is that people with Alzheimer’s and their families will receive the love, support and hope they need.”

The centre’s mission is to provide a family-focused environment that adheres to the highest standards of dementia care using a patient-centred approach.

Each cottage has 12 bedrooms, plus a kitchen and areas for leisure and relaxation.

There are gardens, animals – two rabbits, a cat and a cockatiel – along with calming music playing in the background, creating a sense of calm for residents.

There’s also a coffee shop, general store, library and worship space,  a garage where residents can tinker or rekindle hobbies, along with family rooms for social gatherings.

“Research shows that the quality of life of people living with Alzheimer’s disease, and also their caregivers, is significantly improved by activities that emphasize their strengths and abilities,” said Heather Cook, executive director of Residential and Assisted Living for Fraser Health.

Caregivers and families of residents and those with loved ones living in the community are encouraged to drop by the Alzheimer Society of B.C.’s Resource Centre, located across from the front reception.