Cairnsmore Place

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Cairnsmore Place Bedroom Renovations. Help us with a donation to renovate the bedrooms!

Click here to read about Cairnsmore Bedroom Renovations Campaign

Please give us a call or DONATE here if this campaign strikes a chord!

Pioneer Angus McKinnon donated the first acre of land for King’s Daughters’ Hospital in 1910, with the proviso that a hospital always be on site. Fire destroyed the original hospital in 1917 and another was soon built on “Hospital Hill”. When a modern hospital was built on Gibbins Road in 1967, Cairnsmore Place was built on the old site to provide residential facilities for seniors and others needing long term nursing care.

Watch a slideshow of historical photos.


Watch a slideshow of Cairnsmore Now.

Cairnsmore Place opened July 1, 1972. Today, its 100 complex care beds include 3 respite beds, 20 transitional (activation) care beds and 1 palliative room. The transitional residents are patients awaiting placement in a long-term care facility and those who need additional time to recuperate before returning home after surgery or illness. And the respite beds provide a short-term stay for one 1 to 2 weeks so that a spouse, child or other family member in the community can have a needed break from care-giving.

A midnight fire in January 1996 severely damaged Cairnsmore Place, and over 200 neighbours rallied to help evacuate the residents. The Hospital Foundation appealed to the community for funds and the facility was restored.

In 2005, Cowichan District Hospital Foundation appealed again to the community for funds to update the facility and add additional living space. VIHA and the Foundation partnered to renovate Cairnsmore Place with VIHA funding over $2million to expand and furnish the dining and activities area, and modernize the kitchen and servery. The Foundation with the community’s support contributed $262,000 for a new living room and covered patio areas, and ran an additional campaign to help furnish the new space. 

The living room provides a more peaceful and home-like environment for visits with friends and family, and the covered patio areas provide space for outdoor activities and recreation. The remodeled McKinnon room that opens onto the gardens in the back provides an additional activity area with a homey kitchen. 

 The additional space in the dining area and renovated front entrance allow additional activities to stimulate the mind and body. A rehabilitation area is now included in the original sunroom along with another dedicated exercise room. And, the on-site beauty salon continues to be popular with the residents! 

Cairnsmore’s Activities Staff plan and manage a wide variety of activities and events at Cairnsmore as well as bus outings around Cowichan Valley for the residents.  Community support continues with the addition of a gazebo to complement VIHA's landscaping and wheelchair friendly walkways; and community funds also provide special activities for the residents with live performances from favourite local musicians and theatrical groups. The local Auxiliaries support the Activities Staff and provide much appreciated work improving the gardens and also run a Tuck Shop. Overall, the facilities, staff and volunteers support a more active and healthy lifestyle for the residents. 

Volunteer at Cairnsmore Place: 
If you are interested in volunteering, please call Brenda Smith, Activities Supervisor at Cairnsmore Place 250-709-3000 ext 45302.

Click here to read more about volunteering at Cairnsmore Place.

In 2008, the Foundation and Cairnsmore Place Manager, Gail Kerrone, worked with VIHA to approve a Palliative Room for families to be with a beloved family member in the last stage of life. The Foundation's appeal to the community to help create a private, homey and comfortable area led to a warm and geneous response from many service groups and families throughout Cowichan Valley. The Palliative Room was opened December 1, 2009. The room is designed with a foyer for extra privacy and features a new private bathroom with double shower, a day bed for family or friends to sleep over, a small sitting area, a bar sink with a small refrigerator, and french doors that open into the garden. A specialized air mattress was donated providing the resident the most comfortable bed possible. And internet connection is available in the room for family and friends to share photos and live web cam get-togethers with those far away or near. A plaque in the foyer recognizes all the community groups and families who contributed to the room.