133 new spaces + 59 upgraded spaces = 192 beds for Seniors
Part of $120 Million invested in construction projects in Cobourg
Article and images by Bill Hornbostel
Above photo: David Piccini
David Piccini, MPP for Northumberland-Peterborough South, announced at Streamway Villa in Cobourg an expansion to the long-term care spaces for Cobourg on Monday, March 22, 2021. With him for the announcement were Patrick McCarthy, CEO of OMNI Health Care, Bob Crate, Warden of Northumberland County, John Henderson, Mayor of Cobourg, and Kylie Szczebonski, Streamway Villa Administrator.
“Today’s exciting announcement marks another milestone in our government’s commitment to modernizing long term care in our community and across the province of Ontario,” said Piccini.
Piccini continued, “OMNI Health Care is being allocated one hundred thirty-three new spaces and 59 upgraded spaces to create a brand new 192 bed home through the construction of a brand-new build right here in Cobourg.”
“It’s part of our government’s historic commitment… to develop over thirty thousand new spaces and upgraded spaces in the Province of Ontario,” said Piccini, adding that, with the ground-breaking for the expansion at the Golden Plough Lodge and the coming expansion to Southbridge’s facility in Port Hope, “this, cumulatively marks the largest investment in long term care spaces in our region’s history.”
“Our needs are changing. People are living longer. people’s needs are growing, there’s increasing acuity of care complexity of care,” Piccini said. “But we owe it to the people who built this country, to our loved ones, to our seniors, to provide them with compassionate care, to provide them with the dignity of high quality of care with the right number of hours they need.”
Piccini stated, “It behooves us at all levels of government to work together. And so that’s why we made a commitment for four hours of direct care which will make Ontario a leader in the province in the Federation of Canada.”
Piccini also added that the Provincial Government had committed to training more healthcare workers. “We’ve unlocked hiring over twenty-seven thousand healthcare professionals, many of which we’ve seen here locally with the accelerated PSW [personal support worker] program at Loyalist, Fleming and Durham, just to name some of the few local colleges that will be training PSWs, and of course, our RPNs [registered practical nurses] and RNs [registered nurses]… medical directors, administrators, and everyone that goes towards looking after our loved ones that gives of their time.”
McCarthy said that the new and upgraded long-term care spaces “includes the transfer and redevelopment of Streamway Villa… which has been here since 1977.”
“We’ve had a proud history in this community, and we want to continue on with that,” said McCarthy. “We look forward to our residents being in quarters that are more spacious and more geared towards modern needs.”
“The much-needed beds are required to keep pace really with today’s needs and with the growing senior population in this area,” said McCarthy. He added, “This redevelopment is also part of redevelopment and modernization across Ontario that’s going on right now,” and noted that three others in the region are under construction, and three more were in the design phase.
Crate said, “Northumberland has a growing senior population and a lengthy waitlist for long-term care accommodations, and this demand is expected to increase in the coming years. An expanded one-hundred ninety-two bed home will increase access to long term care and address some of the associated pressures in our local healthcare system.”
“Provincial investment in long-term care projects like this one, along with Northumberland County’s Golden Plough Lodge redevelopment, reflect a commitment to making long-term care available to people where they need it and when they need it, in their own communities where they can remain close to friends and family, and in familiar settings,” said Crate.
Crate added, “The COVID-19 pandemic has further reinforced the for updated long-term care spaces for our seniors. Modern facilities like this one announced today, designed to meet the latest standards, are important signs of progress for ensuring safe comfortable long term care arrangements for seniors in our community.”
Henderson stated, “Cobourg is not only known as Ontario’s feel-good town, but a town that truly supports and cherishes our senior population.”
Henderson also talked about the combined Provincial investment in Cobourg with several projects. “We not only have a magnificent build on this site, we also have one with the GPL [Golden Plough Lodge] and, of course, with that goes the historic museum and archive project as well. If you add it together, it’s well in excess, I believe, of… one hundred twenty million plus dollars. And that is significant.”
Szczebonski said, “This year has presented so many challenges for the residents, the staff and management of our long-term care home, but we have never wavered in our commitment to provide the highest standards of care to our residents.”
“The new, modern facility will have a significant impact, and a positive impact on our residents, families, and especially our staff, the new home will allow us to continue to provide the highest standard of care that we are known for in the community, while also allowing us to easily incorporate new technologies and innovations into our practices,” added Szczebonski.
During the question period after the announcement, McCarthy stated that the work should begin next spring, and that it will take about eighteen months to complete. Describing how different newly-designed long-term care facilities would be, he said, “The modern spaces eliminate three and four-bed wards, so there’ll be no more than two to a room, and there’s… more than double the square footage. per resident.” He added, “Hallways have more storage, so you don’t have the complication of lifts and other things that are stored in the hallway.”
“It’s much more spacious, and then they’re built in thirty-two bed home areas, so that is quieter home areas that are… like smaller communities that can all join together, but also have the quietness of the separate resident home area,” said McCarthy. He also spoke about newer standards for ventilation, air conditioning, and heating.
Piccini added at the end, “Our seniors built this community, and honestly… this isn’t government. This is you. This is your tax dollars at work for you. And just to underscore, our province for too long – governments of all stripes – sat back and didn’t make the right investments for seniors. And it’s long overdue. It is long overdue that we build new facilities.”