PEI

Chez-Nous residents displaced by fire moving Friday to Summerside

Residents of Chez-Nous community care home in Wellington, P.E.I., who were displaced by fire a month ago, will move Friday to Andrews of Summerside.

'We finally got some good news here'

Andrews of Summerside has recently added a wing to their building, freeing up space for Chez-Nous residents and staff. (Brian Higgins/CBC)

Residents of Chez-Nous community care home in Wellington, P.E.I., who were displaced by fire a month ago, will move Friday to Andrews of Summerside.

The fire at La Coopérative Le Chez-Nous Jan. 18 has been deemed to be accidental.

It displaced 47 residents, most of whom were moved to the nearby Mill River Resort until next steps were decided. Some of those people have since moved to facilities where more care could be offered. 

Thirty residents will make the move to a wing of Andrews of Summerside, a privately-run facility with several different levels of care available.

"We finally got some good news here," said Marcel Richard, the president of the board that runs Chez-Nous. "We did sign the contract last night with Andrews lodge on Pope Road."

Half of the residents will move Friday morning and the other half in the afternoon, Richard said. Residents will be driven to the new facility by one of their partners in care, usually a family member.

'Very stressful'

One of the main hurdles was transferring the licences to run each space or bed from Chez-Nous to Andrews. Richard said the licences allow the co-op to operate temporarily under Andrews' roof. 

'It'll be almost like two entities under the same roof,' says Chez-Nous board president Marcel Richard. (Nicole Williams/CBC)

"It's been, I must say, a very stressful last few days," Richard said. "It seemed there was a lot of red tape to jump through." 

Chez-Nous staff will move with the residents and care for them at Andrews. 

"It'll be almost like two entities under the same roof," Richard said. The continuity of care is especially important for those residents who speak French — Wellington is in P.E.I.'s French-speaking Acadian region, and the co-op's mission is to provide residents with care, services and activities in their chosen language.

Richard said it will be months before repairs are completed at Chez-Nous, but he said he has yet to be given an estimate for exactly how long. 

Mealtimes at Andrews will be staggered, with extra cleaning between the two cohorts for COVID-19. 

Richard said the residents had become comfortable at the Mill River Resort, but seem to be accepting of another move. He said staff has been working to prepare them. 

More from CBC P.E.I.

With files from Angela Walker

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