By Haldimand Press Staff
DUNNVILLE—The Ontario government announced last week that it is investing in 80 new long-term care projects. One of these projects will see Edgewater Gardens in Dunnville expanding its capacity from 64 spaces currently to 128 spaces.
“We’re thrilled with the announcement from our Haldimand Norfolk MPP Toby Barrett that we will be dramatically increasing spaces for people in our community waiting for placement in long-term care homes,” said Edgewater’s President and CEO Sharon Moore in a press release that called the government’s announcement “welcome news.”
“We applied for the additional spaces back in December 2019 and we’re so pleased that Edgewater has been selected as one of the provincial homes to be either expanded or upgraded,” Moore added. “We’re grateful that the government has recognized the urgent need for enhanced long-term care services for seniors – including eliminating three and four-bed rooms as a way to improve infection control.”
Rooms with more than two beds were of great concern this past year as the transmission of COVID-19 was more difficult to control in these environments. All rooms at Edgewater are already either private or semi-private.
The home currently has 150 people on its waiting list. Between 30 and 40% of the 39 beds at Haldimand War Memorial Hospital are usually occupied by patients awaiting placement in long-term care.
The new beds will be situated in a new wing that will be constructed on Broad Street to the west of – and attached to – the existing Edgewater Gardens building. The home currently owns the land to be used in the expansion. Further design and construction plans will need to be submitted to, and approved by, the Ministry of Long-term Care before construction can begin. This process is expected to take one to two years.
MPP Toby Barrett sent out a release on the funding for long-term care March 18, 2021, calling it a “historic investment”.
Edgewater Gardens is one of two projects approved in the region. The second is Delhi Long Term Care Centre, which has been allocated 68 new spaces and 60 upgraded spaces, resulting in a 128-bed home through the project. Barrett’s release said both projects will involve new construction in their respective towns “as part of a campus of care.”
The government hopes that, in addition to modernizing the long-term care sector, these projects will help reduce waitlists and end hallway medicine. Province-wide, these investments also support key government priorities, including eliminating three and four bed ward rooms, creating campuses of care, and providing new spaces for Indigenous, Francophone, and other cultural community residents.
“The number of people in Haldimand Norfolk who will need long-term care is expected to rise over the next decade,” said Barrett. “Today’s announcement will help ensure we have safe and modern spaces ready for them.”
“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,” said Dr. Merrilee Fullerton, Minister of Long-Term Care. “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.”
Criteria for selecting the projects that were selected included:
- Upgrading older homes from lessons learned for improved Infection Prevention and Control measures, particularly elimination of three and four-bed rooms;
- Adding spaces to areas with high need;
- Address growing needs of diverse groups;
- Promoting campuses of care to better address the specialized needs of residents.
- As of Dec. 2020, over 40,000 people in Ontario were on the waitlist to access an LTC bed.
- Across the province, the Ontario government is moving forward with 80 new long-term care projects, which will lead to an additional 7,510 new and 4,197 upgraded long-term care spaces.
- Ontario is investing $933 million in these projects provincewide, on top of the $1.75 billion already earmarked for the delivery of 30,000 new spaces over 10 years.