LTC seniors in Chatham to get new digs

Meadow Park Nursing Home new beds announcement. (Photo by Paul Pedro)

A new long-term care home is moving ahead in Chatham.

Chatham-Kent Leamington MPP Rick Nicholls announced on Friday afternoon that Meadow Park Nursing Home in Chatham is getting 61 new beds and is moving from 110 Sandys St. to a new campus of care on McNaughton and Keil Trail North.

The new St. Angela’s Meadow Long Term Care Home will have a total of 160 beds, compared to the existing 99 beds at the current facility.

Meadow Park Administrator Anne-Marie Rumble and her staff are thrilled. She gushed during the announcement saying “Christmas came early this year.” Rumble said the new beds will reduce wait times, and improve the quality of care and quality of life for seniors. She added the current facility has four people to a room and the new facility will have two individuals per room. The current waitlist for Meadow Park is about 50 people

Many of the long term care outbreaks during the COVID-19 pandemic in Ontario were at homes with four people per room. There have been no long term care outbreaks in Chatham-Kent during the pandemic. Rumble also expects the new facility will have ceiling lifts throughout the building to lift immobile patients and will allow for more services to be added at the site.

Nicholls told reporters during the announcement that the provincial government is working with colleges to have enough staff to handle 3,000 new beds to be announced over the coming years. Rumble said the new home will go a long way to ensure safety and peace of mind for her current employees and will be attractive for new and future employees. It’s unclear when construction will begin on the new campus of care but Nicholls said the parcel of land is “shovel-ready.”

Lakeshore is also getting a new 160-bed long-term care home. Nicholls said Arch Long Term Care is getting 85 new beds to go along with 75 current beds.

“Today’s announcement brings a lot of excitement for residences in Chatham and Lakeshore,” said Nicholls. “Our government has heard the struggles, we are working hard to add capacity and upgrades to Ontario’s long-term care homes. This was part of our commitment to modernizing the long-term care sector.”

The new projects are part of the 2020 Budget, which is an action plan to respond to the serious health and economic impacts of COVID-19.

“Protecting our loved ones and ensuring they receive the care they deserve is at the centre of everything we do,” said Merrilee Fullerton, the minister of long-term care. “With this announcement, our government is taking another step towards creating a 21st-century long-term care sector that provides the highest quality of care for our most vulnerable people, where and when they need it.”