Merritt long-term care facility surrendering its complex-care licence

Florentine gives up licence

A long-term care facility in Merritt that has been the subject of recent scrutiny from health officials is giving up its complex-care licence, a decision expected to force a number of seniors to move from Merritt.

In March, Interior Health appointed an administrator to oversee operations on the second floor of The Florentine Seniors Residence, which contained 20 independently funded long-term care beds. This followed a series of infractions Interior Health claimed had arisen following visits to the senior’s residence.

“After spending two years in planning and two years of construction to build the best possible age in place seniors’ home, I had to make the agonizing decision to give up our complex-care licence,” reads a post on The Florentine’s Facebook page.

“We have operated the facility in excess of 13 years. The last couple of years has been most challenging. … The loss of age-in-place facility for Merritt goes against what I contemplated back in 2004. It will be a big impact to the community.”

Residents and their family members on the second floor have been informed of the decision, and the fact that the residents, many with cognitive impairments such as Alzheimer’s, will have to be moved.

With Gillis House, Merritt’s other option for complex care, typically operating at full capacity this may mean a move out of town for several, if not all, of the Florentine’s complex-care residents.

In order to keep the facility operating as it has for more than a decade, the owners of The Florentine have offered to sell to Interior Health, whereupon they would take over operation of the entire building, but have received no reply.

“We offered the government the opportunity to purchase the facility but there has not been any response from either IHA or the Ministry of Health on the topic.”

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