Langley supports lodge

Roy Brown still volunteers at Langley Lodge, four decades after he spearheaded the effort to create the care facility.

Back in 1971, Stewart Chapman, administrator of Langley Memorial Hospital, approached Brown, then president of the Langley Rotary, for assistance to research opportunities for establishing a residential care facility in Langley.

Chapman was under pressure to free up acute-care hospital beds occupied by long-term care patients. Brown responded and Rotary spearheaded a feasibility study for a care facility.

A key finding of the study, according to Brown, was that Langley seniors wanted a future residential care home to be in a central location; they were strongly opposed to being housed “out in the boonies.”

In it’s spot at 5451 204th St., the lodge is centrally located, close to many amenities.

A photo of Brown hangs on a wall of history about the lodge. He was at the sod turning when the lodge was first envisioned in the early 1970s.

There was strong local support for the project and it only gained momentum.

The sod was turned in February 1973 and a little more than one year later Langley Lodge opened its doors as a personal care home. Operations funding from the Ministry of Health was not a reality until later, and was implemented to assist seniors with lower incomes to access Langley Lodge care.

Over the years the lodge have been renovated but it was a few years ago that the facility underwent massive change.

The single tower of the lodge would become two towers.

Construction took about three years but the planning was at least double that.

It would require a $28 million mortgage to do the expansion, the completion of which was celebrated in late 2011.

Residents lived in the building during the construction.

The existing facilities were upgraded to modern care standards and the expansion allows residents to have their own rooms.

Posters tell about the many activities the complex care facility hosts, including afternoon tea. The residents can also take advantage of a garden, outings, daily exercises, a hair salon, a physiotherapy room, and guest suites.

At the grand opening celebration, then mayor Peter Fassbender noted that his mother lived in Langley Lodge.

Fighting back emotion, Fassbender said his mother “passed happy because she was cared for” and praised the staff, volunteers and board for making the facility a home.

It is just that for the 139 residents of Langley Lodge.

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