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The Province announced today that it has approved 20 new long-term care beds as part of Farivern Nursing Home’s 96-bed redevelopment plan.
The home currently has 76 beds and it has been awaiting approval from the Province for an additional 20 beds in order to make its redevelopment plan financially feasible. Contingent on that approval is also a commitment by the District of Muskoka to pitch in $10 million towards the aging home’s redevelopment.
The Ministry held a public meeting in December on the issue and community members overwhelmingly came out in support of additional beds for Fairvern, some also arguing that 20 beds are not enough.
Former Fairvern Board Member Tim Withey, who was on the Fairvern Redevelopment Committee and currently sits on the Board of the North Simcoe Muskoka Local Health Integration Network, welcomed the news. “This is exciting for the community. There’s an incredible need for these beds. Hopefully it won’t be long before there’s a shovel in the ground at the new site by the Huntsville Hospital.”
Bev MacWilliams, former Chair of the Redevelopment Committee and current Director on the Board of Fairvern said he’s pleased with the news. “It’s been long awaited and we’re ecstatic. It’s what we’ve been waiting for, for the past several years now.” He said the additional beds will allow for greater capacity and financial viability. He said the board and administrators are now awaiting the Province’s final approval for the home’s redevelopment plan in order to move forward and get shovels in the ground.
The property for Fairven’s redevelopment was donated by local developer Pat Dubé. The new Fairvern will be located at 450 Muskoka Rd. 3 N. It will be accessed via a new road, to be financed by the Town of Huntsville, off Earls Road.
Today’s announcement by the Province is part of Ontario’s commitment to create 5000 long-term care beds over the next four years and more than 30,000 over the next decade.
This investment is part of Aging with Confidence: Ontario’s Action Plan for Seniors, which has more than 20 new initiatives to help seniors access the supports they need. The plan includes 15 million more hours of nursing, personal support and therapeutic care for long-term care home residents, a free annual high-dose influenza vaccine for seniors, and a new one-stop website where seniors can find information about tax credits, drug coverage, powers of attorney, recreation programs and more, according to the Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care.
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