HURON-BRUCE — Help is on the way for long-term care, a sector that saw only 611 new beds built between 2011 and 2018 across the province.
Huron-Bruce MPP Lisa Thompson has announced that the Southampton Care Centre has entered the next phase towards a redevelopment project that will add 84 new long-term care beds to the facility.
Many long-term care homes were constructed before 1970, and outdated rooms are in dire need of redevelopment. Thompson said that is why she was proud to provide a letter of support for the project.
“The centre has been an integral provider of long-term care within the community and has helped to identify gaps in the system, ultimately reducing hallway healthcare by offering interim, short stay respite and long stay accommodation within a diverse framework,” she wrote in her letter to the Ministry of Long Term Care last fall.
“Redevelopment of Southampton Care Centre will help to increase capacity of long-term care services within the community, which is very much in need,” she added.
Thompson noted that Huron-Bruce is served by the South West LHIN (Local Health Integration Network), which has 7389 long-term care beds, a wait list of 2019 vulnerable seniors, and a median wait time of 79 days for admission.
“Governments of all stripes have talked about solutions, but our government is taking historic steps to improve the lives of our seniors,” said Thompson.
Dr. Merrilee Fullerton, Minister of Long-Term Care, has spent the past year meeting with the long-term care sector in order to remove barriers to building long-term care homes in Ontario.
Premier Ford and Minister Fullerton recently announced a new modernized funding model that the government is applying to the building of new long-term care homes and upgrading older homes to modern standards.
“Putting our government’s historic $1.75 billion investment in long-term care capacity growth to work, this funding model will increase upfront funding and cover key development charges, making it easier to get projects off the ground and get more residents the care they need, fast,” said Thompson.
The model is tailored to overcome localized barriers and meet community needs in each of four market segments (based on population size): rural, mid-size, urban, and large urban.
For example, in Huron-Bruce, where the high cost of development charges is a barrier to development, operators will have these charges covered so they can get building.
“Our modernized funding model is one key part of repairing the cracks in our aging long-term care system, addressing our growing wait list, building healthier and safer communities,” Thompson said.
The anticipated construction start for the Southampton project is June 2021.
Media contact: John McPhee