Tabor Village growing
by Lilianne Fuller
In 1959, several Mennonite churches in Abbotsford came together to establish Tabor Home Society. Their aim was to build a facility to provide compassionate care for the sick and elderly in Abbotsford. Aided by community support and government funding, a facility that accommodated 39 people was built in 1960. New additions were added and soon Tabor Home had rooms for 118 people. In 1987, an independent living structure was added. By 1992, there were eleven participating congregations in the society ministering to seniors. In 2007, an Assisted Living building was completed. At a time when the concept to provide care at every level in one central location was in its infancy, Tabor Village became one of the first complete Campuses of Care in the Fraser Valley.
Tabor Village has been consistently awarded an Excellent Status Accreditation and in 2018, their accreditation was upgraded to Exemplary. To achieve this standard, an organization is assessed by an external peer review process and must fully meet 429 national standards for quality care services. Tabor Village’s core value is to provide Care from the Heart™ with Christian compassion, dignity and respect.
However, the original facility is almost 60 years old and is in need of more than simple maintenance to keep it operating efficiently and economically. That’s why, in 2017, the Tabor Home Society embarked on a wonderful new vision to transform Tabor Village. A capital campaign was launched in October 2018 to raise $11 million towards the construction of a new Tabor Village ‘Centre for Living’ Complex Care facility. To date, $4.5 million has been raised.
The first part of the transformation of Tabor Village will be the construction of a new, innovative Complex Care Residence. In the past, complex care facilities looked and felt like hospitals. Long hallways leading to isolated bedrooms coupled with a large communal dining hall contributed to the institutional feel.
The new Tabor Home residence will be designed using a new model that reinvents how seniors experience complex care and housing. The Household Model will resemble small neighbourhoods of 12-14 residents designed around a circular setting and surrounded by spacious living areas. Each neighbourhood will have its own dining room and will include an understated nursing station. The spacious living areas are tailored to encourage longer, more comfortable visits from family and friends. This innovative style of residence will address the increasing needs and expectations of seniors, while ensuring that Tabor Village continue their 60-year tradition of Care from the Heart™.
The vision is to begin construction in five years with the new building the first step in Tabor Village’s transformation. Over the next ten years, and after the completion of the new structure, the existing complex care building will be replaced and redeveloped to make more efficient use of the land, adding more independent and assisted living units with a chapel, community centre and space that provides additional services, such as an adult day care to provide respite care for families.
Andrea Critchley is Tabor Village’s Capital Campaign Manager. She regards participating in a campaign like this as an opportunity for local churches to be involved in a mission field that’s a little closer to home. She says, “Often we see the mission field as not in our own country, let alone in our own cities, yet God has put opportunities all around us to minister and physically see the results of our investment of finances and time.”
All facilities that provide care for the elderly fall under the guidance of Fraser Health, so it is vitally important that Tabor Village meet and exceed the health authority’s standards of care. Support from the community and local churches is crucial and there are countless ways to be involved.
At one time Critchley was the Volunteer Coordinator at Tabor. She sees volunteering as being missional as well. She explains, “Volunteers bring life, value and relationship to the residents. Volunteers create an atmosphere of family, through their love and care for the residents. While we have Christian seniors who live here, there are also those who do not know the Lord. Through loving and caring as Christ has called us to, we are making a difference in people’s lives in their vulnerable time of life. It’s home missions. Tabor ‘Home’ missions.”
To be involved with Tabor Village as a volunteer or to participate in the capital campaign, contact Critchley at 604-859-8715 or visit www.taborvillage.org.