St. Barths Online

News

Feb 20, 2009

Plans To Build A Retirement Home

Financed by the Collectivity of Saint Barthélemy, which is also the construction/project manager (a responsibility taken on since the island became a COM and not part of a department), the building of an assisted living retirement home (EPAD) was recently voted for by the island council. In an official announcement, COM president Bruno Magras noted that on February 2, French prime minister François Fillon had met with the Inter-Ministerial Committee for Development and Competitiveness Of The Territories (CIACT) with an eye toward a revitalization of the economy as envisioned by the French president on December 4, 2008 in Douai. The CIACT allotted certain funds, territory by territory, for an ensemble of projects that fall under this exceptional investment program, with 26 billion Euros, or 1.3% of the GDP. More than 1,000 projects ready to begin in 2009 are divided amongst the various regions, including Saint Barth, which can benefit from these funds for the building of a retirement home, with credit for 2.1 million Euros, allowing the project to begin to take shape this year.
Le project on the drawing boards is for a home for senior citizens (who need assisted living) to be built on land adjacent to the De Bruyn Hospital in Gustavia. Adapted to the needs of the elderly, and with handicapped access, the establishment could house up to 20 residents who are under medical treatment by local doctors. Ideally located next to the hospital, which is currently undergoing renovation and an extension, the EPAD will be independent, yet work in close collaboration with the hospital. For example, physiotherapy sessions would take place in one of the rooms current under construction in the new hospital building.
The senior residence will also benefit from three-way payment: one third from social security for medical care; one third from the COM (formerly the responsibility of the general council in Guadeloupe; and the final third, which covers living expenses, must be paid by the residents and their families. The COM issued a call for tenders from architects, and island officlals hope to symbolically lay the first stone for the EPAD before the end of the year, with an inauguration of the facility in 2011.



The expansion and renovations at the De Bryn Hospital will bring its existing structures up to code, as well as provide a new building which will combine the hospital beds all one on floor. Administrative services will be moved into the lower area, which currently houses seven geriatric patients.
Good news for pregnant women: the extension plans for the hospital included a multi-purpose facility, primarily intended for physiotherapy but which can also for childbirth classes run by midwives who will come regularly from Saint Martin, while at the moment nothing exists on the island for future moms.

Cécile Lucot


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