The Ontario government’s upgrades to long-term care have continued with the announcement of funding for 192 new beds in Norfolk and Haldimand counties.
Earmarked for expansion and improvements are the Delhi Long-Term Care Centre and the Edgewater Gardens seniors home in Dunnville.
“The number of people in Haldimand-Norfolk who will need long-term care is expected to rise over the next decade,” MPP Toby Barrett said in a news release. “Today’s announcement will help ensure we have safe, modern spaces ready for them.”
In response to calls for improvements in seniors care, the province has pledged to underwrite 30,000 new spaces over 10 years. The public spending in Delhi and Dunnville is part of that commitment.
Among the government’s goals is reducing the number of three- and four-bed wards in some care facilities. The province learned a bitter lesson once the COVID-19 pandemic was declared that seniors living in congregate settings are highly vulnerable to negative health outcomes in the presence of contagions.
“Our loved ones in long-term care deserve a comfortable, modern place to live, near family and friends, with the support they need when they need it,” Dr. Merrilee Fullerton, minister of long-term care, said in the same release. “These new and upgraded spaces, built to modern design standards, will help prevent and contain the transmission of infectious diseases and ensure residents have access to the care they need in a safe and secure environment.”
Then province said it also intends to increase the number of spaces that are culturally sensitive to the province’s aging Francophone and indigenous populations.
The province’s spending in Delhi will create 68 new spaces while providing upgrades to 60 current spaces.
Edgewater Gardens is under the auspices of Haldimand War Memorial Hospital. The investment there will create 64 new spaces, increasing the complement at Edgewater Gardens to 128.
The government’s financial commitment to long-term care improvements totals nearly $3 billion. The long-range goal is to create 20,150 new accommodations while providing upgrades to 16,000 existing spaces.
The province says the issue is of some urgency, given that 40,000 Ontarians were on a waiting list for long-term care as of December.