While the Government of Ontario is easing restrictions for long-term care residents as the Omicron wave seemingly abates, Ontario’s Long-Term Care Minister Paul Calandra announced that a couple of Guelph’s LTC homes are going to have to make room for a few more people. In all, nearly 200 new beds have been approved for three Guelph long-term care homes, in an announcement the mayor calls, “beyond exciting!”
In an announcement Tuesday morning, Calandra explained that three Guelph long-term care homes are getting a combined 195 new beds including 160 at St. Joseph’s Health Centre, 29 at the Elliott Community, and six at Eden House Nursing Home. The announcement is part of a $6.4 billion commitment to create 30,000 net new beds by 2028, and to upgrade another 28,000.
“Our government has a plan to fix long-term care and a key part of that plan is building modern, safe, and comfortable homes for our seniors,” Calandra said in a statement. “When these three homes in Guelph are completed, 195 local seniors will have a new place to call home, near their family and friends.”
“This allocation of 195 more long-term care beds will have a huge impact on our community,” Mayor Cam Guthrie said in his remarks. “These new bed allocations will increase their capacity and allow them to provide care to more people. That’s good news for community members who need long-term care, and for their loved ones.”
Council approved the application for 29 new beds at the Elliott during a council meeting in December. Construction will begin on the addition to the Elliott sometime in the fall, which is that same time that construction is set to begin at Eden House. At St. Joe’s construction is expected to being in spring 2023, and it will end up bring their total complement of long-term beds up to 400.
“In addition to increasing much needed access and capacity of long-term beds and complementing the campus of care at St. Joseph’s Health Centre Guelph, this funding provides a tremendous opportunity,” said St. Joseph’s president David Wormald in a statement. “It enables St. Joseph’s to extend our mission of compassionate care, to expand innovative models of care, and to create a resident-centric environment that transforms how they experience long-term care as their home.”
Along with the announcement of these new beds, the LaPointe-Fisher Nursing Home on Metcalfe Street is in the process of adding four new beds while upgrading another 92.
This local good news for long-term care homes is on top of more general good news for all of Ontario’s homes this week as residents with three vaccines are now allowed to resume social day trips, while all residents are now allowed to have up to four designated caregivers instead of just two, and two of the four can visit at any one time.
As of Tuesday, there’s only one long-term care home in Guelph that is currently experiencing a COVID-19 outbreak. An outbreak was declared at the Emma Unit in the retirement home portion of the Village of Riverside Glen on February 1 with COVID cases confirmed in five residents and two staff members.