Last Thursday was a big day for Bayfield Manor as they celebrated the ground-breaking of their expansion which will bring 94 new long-term care beds to the municipality. Owned by Southbridge Care Homes, the expansion was announced in March of last year, and was made possible through a significant investment from the Ministry of Health and Long-term Care. On Thursday, Minister of Long-term Care, Dr. Merrilee Fullerton, also announced that Southbridge Care will be receiving an additional $7,640,080 to expedite the project. This is part of a $761 million investment by the Ontario government in 74 long-term care development projects across the province.
“Our government has been taking historic steps to add capacity and upgrade Ontario’s long-term care homes to improve quality of life for our loved ones,” Minister Fullerton said. “We introduced the modernized funding model to expedite projects and we’re already seeing results, with thousands of new, safe and comfortable spaces in progress.”
Local and visiting dignitaries and Southbridge staff members gathered at the site of Bayfield’s new long-term care facility at 121 George Street West in Kemptville, to mark the start of construction. The new building will have 160 long-term care beds, with a mix of both private and basic (shared bathroom) accommodations. According to Southbridge, the home will meet all standards set out in the Long-Term Care Home Design Manual and is designed to support residents with various physical, emotional, cultural, and cognitive needs.
The first floor will include a home community hub, with a beauty/barber shop, treatment room, physiotherapy, and a non-denominational worship space that will also be used as a multi-purpose room for larger events. The main floor will also have an area which will eventually house offices for a physician, nurse practitioner, and a podiatrist, among other necessary healthcare professionals.
“Integral to the resident’s quality of living is having that in-house in order to decrease the risks of them having to leave their home and travel to these appointments. And we know what comes with all that enhanced travel,” said Candace Chartier of Southbridge. “They’re actually going to be able to get these services in the comfort of their own home, which I think is absolutely key.”
Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing,and local MPP, Steve Clark, MP Michael Barrett, Minister Fullerton, and Mayor Peckford were all on hand to mark the occasion and learn more about North Grenville’s new long-term care facility.
“I’ve been talking to people before we started here, and I’m struck by the caring, the compassion, and the dedication and determination of the people who have made this happen; because it’s not just dollars,” Minister Fullerton said. “Yes, we’ve got the dollars. The 7.6 million of the 761 million from the province; but it’s really the people. It’s really all of you taking the time to be determined; to care for our most vulnerable people in society and in the homes.”
Mayor Peckford noted how important this new long-term care facility is in a high growth community like North Grenville. “We attract a lot of seniors and a lot of younger families,” she said. “And it’s those constituencies who, in time, will actually either seek the care themselves, or someone will have a parent or loved one who will need to be in a quality long term care home.”
Construction on Bayfield’s new long-term care facility will begin imminently, with an estimated completion date of June, 2022. Once finished, all 66 of Bayfield’s current long-term care beds will be transferred to the new building, leaving 94 beds for new residents. Bayfield’s Executive Director, Gerry Miller, says this is welcome news, as they currently have over 100 people on their waitlist.