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Cambridge long term care home kicks off $14 million expansion

Long term care in Cambridge gets massive boost from the provincial government with over $241.2 million in funding available
LTC minister Stan Cho digs with local politicians and Fariveiw Mennonite Home officials to break ground on the new construction project that will add 108 new beds to the Langs Drive facility.

One of the largest long-term-care homes in Cambridge has officially started an expansion that will see the addition of over 108 new beds to accommodate the city's aging population. 

Fairview Mennonite Home in Cambridge is celebrating it's 80th anniversary this year, and what better way than to start with a $14 million construction that will double the facilities capacity. 

"The expansion of our long-term-care home honours a legacy of kindness extending back 80 years," said Elaine Shantz, president and CEO, Fairview Mennonite Homes.

"By more than doubling in size, we will continue to serve seniors in this community by increasing access to the physical, mental, emotional and spiritual care they need in a beautiful, modern home that supports their dignity and brings peace of mind to their loved ones.”

The new expansion will add two additional wings and one floor to create a modernized 192-bed home, including 11 additional beds proposed for dementia care.

Long term care minister Stan Cho stands with Cambridge Mayor Jan Liggett at the groundbreaking ceremony of Fairview Mennonite Homes in Cambridge. Joe McGinty/CambridgeToday

New minister of Long-Term Care Stan Cho has only been in his role for around three weeks, but came to Cambridge to announce the funding and put shovels in the ground for the first time. 

“Congratulations to the teams at Fairview Mennonite Homes, peopleCare A. R. Goudie Kitchener and The Elliott Long Term Care Residence on their ground-breakings for three modernized and expanded homes," said Cho. 

While Cho adds that the Ontario government is trying to fix the current state of LTC homes, especially after the tragic events of the pandemic, he recognizes there is still much work to be done. 

The new LTC minister shared with the crowd that he is honoured to be in this role, as taking care of the seniors means taking care of those who built this country and community. 

"I see people when I look at those numbers. When you see $10 billion and building 58,000 new and upgraded beds and you can get lost in the figure, but what that means is we can finally start giving our seniors that dignity," said Cho. 

Some members of the Fairview Mennonite Home community are happy to see the expansion, but were hoping it would address their needs sooner. 

"It's great to see all of these new beds and staff being brought in, but it's not even going to be open until 2025," said Jim McLeod, a resident and partner reunification activist. 

"I don't even know if I will be alive when this opens and from what I'm being told it won't affect my chances of being reunited with my wife." 

McLeod has been married for over 65 years and has been separated for the past six as his wife was transferred to another LTC home in the city. He has been fighting for the reunification of all partners in the LTC system as they near the end of their lives. 

Cho notes that this new expansion might not necessarily bring couples back together, but it's a step in the right direction. 

"We have to be careful, especially with legislation that we are not going to have unintended consequences," said Cho. 

He mentioned that there are tools in place now for reunification, but it gets difficult when assisted living is involved. 

Funding for this project comes as the province is looking to overhaul the care that seniors receive, especially after the pandemic put a spotlight on some of the terrible conditions seniors were forced to live in. 

Fairview Mennonite Homes is one of 67 homes receiving the government’s supplemental increase to the construction funding subsidy, which was designed to stimulate the start of construction for more long-term-care homes across Ontario.

As part of its plan to fix long-term care and address sector waitlists, the government is building more than 30,000 net new long-term care beds in Ontario by 2028 and upgrading more than 28,000 older beds to modern design standards.

According to the ministry, Fairview Mennonite Homes is eligible to receive up to $241.2 million in funding under the Long-Term Care Home Capital Development Funding Policy. 

This funding includes: a one-time funding of up to $14.7 million, which includes a basic transition, orientation funding and a development grant construction funding subsidy of approximately $43.2 million over 25 years and approximately $183.3 million in level of care funding over 30 years.

Construction has already begun at the Cambridge LTC home and will be finished by the fall of 2025. 

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Joe McGinty

About the Author: Joe McGinty

Joe McGinty is a multimedia journalist who covers local news in the Cambridge area. He is a graduate of Conestoga College and began his career as a freelance journalist at CambridgeToday before joining full time.
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