Manitoba adds 18 beds for dementia, brain injury patients

The Winnipeg Regional Health Authority (WRHA) has created a couple of nine-bed units for patients with complex, specialized needs, Manitoba’s Health Minister Sharon Blady announced Thursday.

New units to open at Actionmarguerite facility in St. Boniface

Health Minister Sharon Blady announced Thursday the WHRA is opening 18 more beds for patients with complex needs and behavioural issues in Winnipeg at an Actionmarguerite centre in St. Boniface. (CBC/Jaison Empson)

The Winnipeg Regional Health Authority (WRHA) has created a pair of nine-bed units for patients with dementia and brain injuries, Manitoba Health Minister Sharon Blady announced Thursday.

The new units will be added to Actionmarguerite's centre at 185 Despins St. in St Boniface, formerly Taché Centre, said a news release.

Actionmarguerite is a community-based non-profit corporation owned by the Catholic Health Corporation of Manitoba and funded by the WRHA.

"With an aging population, it is more important than ever to ensure that Manitobans have the supports they need to live in dignity," Blady said in the release.

"Today's announcement is all about ensuring those supports are in place, including specialized care for those with complex needs associated with conditions like dementia or acquired brain injury."

Both new units contain nine individual rooms. One unit is designed for residents with "challenging or aggressive behaviours," said the release, the other for residents with brain injury acquired as adults.

"The creation of the new units will address a few of the recommendations proposed after the Frank Alexander inquest, which evaluated access to long-term care within the WRHA," the release said.

Alexander, 87, was killed in 2011 by another resident in his Winnipeg care home.

The 2015 public inquest into his murder found there were 40 people in Winnipeg with behavioural issues on the wait list for beds.

"We recognize the growing need for specialized long-term care in our community," Charles Gagné, chief executive officer of Actionmarguerite, said in the news release.

"While the effort is always to accommodate clients and residents as much as possible within a community personal care home setting, we are aware that an increasing number of clients require specialized services, delivered by dedicated and highly trained staff," he said.

The 18 new beds are to open this month, said the release.

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