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Province creating, updating 448 long-term care beds in Elgin-Middlesex-London

A staff member at Revera's Heritage Lodge Long Term Care Home has tested positive for the B.1.1.7. variant first reported in the U.K. File / Global News

The Ontario government has announced plans to create 141 new and 307 updated long-term care spaces in the Elgin-Middlesex-London region.

On Thursday Jeff Yurek, MPP for Elgin-Middlesex-London revealed the provincial government would be funding three projects to create new and improve existing spaces in Extendicare in Port Stanley and St. Joseph’s Health Care and Southbridge Chelsey Park in London.

Funding for the projects comes from the Ontario government’s commitment to invest $933 million into projects in long-term care homes and $1.75 billion to create 30,000 new spaces over the next 10 years.

“The number of people in Elgin-Middlesex who will need long-term care is expected to rise over the next decade,” said Yurek.

“Today’s announcement will help ensure we have safe, modern spaces ready for them.”

Read more: Ontario government plans to spend $933M on increasing, improving long-term care spaces

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Extendicare Port Stanley is being allocated 68 new spaces and 60 upgraded spaces, which will result in a 128-bed home through the construction of a new building in Port Stanley.

In London, St. Joseph’s Health Care London will be upgrading 160 upgraded spaces for Mount Hope Centre for Long Term Care and the project will result in a 337-bed home through the construction of a new building.

The Southbridge Chelsey Park facility will create 73 new spaces and upgrade 87 spaces through a renovation that will be part of a campus of care.

“Today’s announcement means that Extendicare Port Stanley can be redeveloped to modern design standards,” said Anthony McKenzie, regional director, southwestern Ontario with Extendicare.

“Extendicare’s vision for this home will meet the needs of residents now and into the future, including flexible space for restorative and palliative care, increased privacy and enhanced resident activity areas.”

Read more: Ontario long-term care residents describe devastating impact of isolation during COVID-19 pandemic

As of December 2020, more than 40,000 people across Ontario were on the wait-list to access a long-term care bed.

With this latest commitment, the Ontario government says it has 20,161 new and 15,918 renovations in the works.

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“Our loved ones in long-term care deserve a comfortable, modern place to live, near family and friends, with the support they need when they need it,” said Dr. Merrilee Fullerton, minister of long-term care.

“These new and upgraded spaces, built to modern design standards, will help prevent and contain the transmission of infectious diseases and ensure residents have access to the care they need in a safe and secure environment.”

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