Photo by: Vlad Sargu
Ontario is currently working on creating 30,000 new beds for long-term care facilities. The project is set to be completed by 2028.
On Monday, Nov. 14, the Ford government provided an update on the project’s status in their fall economic statement. In the update, facilities under construction that will be making room for additional bedding were specified, such as long-term homes in Sudbury, Toronto, Carleton Place, Fort Erie and more. In the update, the provincial government also specified that additional spaces have been added for the St. Catharines and Oakville projects.
In St. Catharines, the Linhaven Long-Term Care Home is planning to offer 13 new long-term care beds, as well as an upgraded 226 long-care beds. In Fort Erie, the Gilmore Lodge is projected to upgrade 160 of their long-term care beds by 2028.
The project is also in the midst of planning upgrades and additional beds for homes in Oakville, North Bay, Timmins, and Guelph. The Schlegel Villages project in Oakville is preparing for a large upgrade to their facility, with plans to construct 640 new long-term care beds.
In total, Ontario currently has 31,705 new beds and 28,648 upgraded beds in development.
The decision to create additional spacing in long-term care homes comes after the declining of conditions in such facilities due to the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Impacts on long-term care facilities from the pandemic consisted of prolonged isolation from family and essential caregivers, reduced quality of life, and an extreme spike in death rates. Since the beginning of the pandemic, a total of 4,500 long-term care residents have died, according to a June 2022 Public Health Ontario report.
According to the government of Ontario, their announcement presents a solution to many of the issues faced by long-term care homes, as it will both aid in reducing waitlists as well as provide quality and well deserved care to seniors.
This decision demonstrates a large step in the building of long-term care beds, since, as opposed to the number of beds predicted to be assembled by 2028, only 611 new beds were built in between 2011 and 2018. This consequently places the government’s commitment towards the motion as the largest long-term care building program in Canada ever.
In addition to Ontario’s plan, they have also proposed 30 long-term care projects which primarily serve Indigenous communities, as well as 39 projects serving Ontario’s Francophone population.
Through such motions being made by the government in order to aid the province’s aging population, Ontario hopes to ameliorate the quality of care and quality of life for all those currently and eventually staying in long-term care facilities.