Three-hundred jobs in the making at long-term care home
London Community News
By Sean Meyer/London Community News/Twitter: Newswriter22
At a time when the need for jobs seems to be the number one preoccupation of London officials, a new long-term care facility is providing just what the doctor ordered.
Construction began in July on Henley Place London, a 192-bed long-term care home, with intentions of being open by December 2013. On Friday (Oct. 5), during an official groundbreaking in the city’s Cedarhollow area, in northwest London, municipal and provincial officials joined with representatives from Primacare Living Solutions, to hail the many benefits of the project.
Mayor Joe Fontana was excited a company such as Primacare would show “incredible confidence” in the city and bring a significant economic impact to the Forest City.
“There is no doubt that 300 good paying jobs are most needed in this economy,” Fontana said. “Of course, I said I appreciate the taxes that will come with the development; that helps the bottom line.”
Fontana said Primacare’s decision to come to London speaks volumes about “what London wants to be, what it does very well,” and how Henley Place will fit into the city’s fabric of health care opportunities.
“This is all part of that continuum of health. From birth to retirement and there is no doubt long-term care is part of that,” Fontana said. “People are staying in hospitals far too long because there is no place for them to go. This will take pressure off the hospitals; release a number of beds for those who need health care.”
The release of that pressure is something Deb Matthews, London North Centre MPP and the Minister of Health and Long-Term Care, focused on during her remarks following the groundbreaking. Matthews said there is an overwhelming need to free up hospital beds for those who are in need of immediate care.
“This is a wonderful day. I’m thrilled. It takes pressure off our hospitals because we still have too many people in hospital who don’t need to be there. It is great for the whole system,” Matthews said. “Whenever there is one person in hospital who shouldn’t be there, they aren’t getting the best care possible for them and they are costing the system more than they would in another setting, then I know we have work to do.”
Matthews said that work is showing results as the province’s altered care rates continue to drop. That, Matthews said, not only helps speed up admission for people coming through the emergency department, but also reduces the number of cancelled surgeries because there are beds available.
“So we are really working hard to get the system working in a much more co-ordinated way,” Matthews said. “We cannot think about silos anymore, we have to think about the patient’s journey.”
Matthew Melchior, president Primacare Living Solutions, echoed those sentiments, adding he was thankful to see the evolution of the long-term care facility from more institutional facilities to ones like Henley Place, which are “real homes” for their residents.
“Thankfully we have evolved, it has to be resident-centric, it has to be about care, it has to be about dignity,” Melchior said. “We are really excited because this facility is designed to be resident-focused, to preserve and respect and make a home-like environment for our residents while at the same time to allow for the technological advances that are evident in our everyday lives and the health care world.”
The focus on the resident was a point both Matthews and Fontana agreed is essential in today’s world of long-term care.
“These are our elders, these are the people who raised us, these are the people who cared for us through our whole lives,” Matthews said. “The homes today are built to higher standards so the infection rates are reduced. We don’t have wards where you have four or more people to a room. They are more comfortable places for people who deserve to live in dignity.”
The mayor went one step further; alluding to just how much like home today’s long-term care facilities are designed to be. And just how much they allow residents to live in comfort during their retirement years.
“People who are in long-term care need a home setting, not a hospital setting,” Fontana said. “They need to be where they can exercise, get great meals, they can dance a little bit, they can’t do that in a hospital.”
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