Progressive Intercultural Community Services Society (PICS) is a registered community-based non-profit, multi-service organization with about 150 staff and an annual budget of $10 million. Serving the community since 1987, PICS assists immigrant youth, seniors, women and the local community members by providing a comprehensive network of services and programs in the Lower Mainland with offices located in Surrey and Vancouver. We provide Employment Programs, Settlement Services, Language Services, Social Programs and Housing Services for our clients.
In the late 1990s, the Society recognized a growing need for subsidized housing and care for seniors from within multicultural communities. With funding support from the community, BC Housing and Fraser Health, PICS was able to build two separate facilities: a 77 Unit Independent Living Facility and a 49 Unit Assisted Living Facility. These facilities are located next to the Strawberry Hill Shopping Center and within walking distance of churches, temples, libraries, and other amenities.
Central to the success of these facilities is the concept of Culturally-Sensitive Health Care. This is a term that refers to a facility or program in which clients and caregivers, while not limited to the same ethnic or religious group, come from a background of common interests and belief systems.
Live Where the World Lives
Our next project – PICS Diversity Village – is a 3-storey, 125 bed, residential care facility that will have the ability to provide culturally sensitive Long-Term Complex Care to seniors with a South Asian background in a sustained and purposeful manner, within the context of person-centred care. It will be a multi-storey concrete building, built to hospital standards on two and half acres of land, designed in the style of a Village made up of “Houses”.
Each House will have private self-contained rooms – kitchen, dining room, living room and activity room – making each House a self-contained unit for residents. This creates options for several different cultural-linguistic groups in the village, as well as houses for specific care groups such as residents with dementia.
Culturally-sensitive care facilities have a sufficiently diverse staff to ensure that residents are fully understood when speaking their mother tongue; the food is familiar to them; their religions can be practiced in an environment that is appropriate; and they are in a place that feels like home and in an environment where family and friends feel welcome.”
Culturally-sensitive health care is proven to be a successful and beneficial approach, especially when it comes to caring for our seniors in a society and community that has become increasingly multicultural. With the strong support of that community, this much needed project will become a reality in the very near future.