Grey County has some important decisions to make about the future of long-term care and other services for seniors. Standards for long-term care homes are changing and Rockwood Terrace, located in Durham, will not meet standards in 2025. This creates an opportunity to review long term care and understand how our homes could be better organized to meet the current and future demand for long term care in our area.
Making the Best Decision for Grey County
Grey County is dedicated to providing exceptional care and service to our long-term care residents. Redeveloping a home is complex and there are many factors that need to be carefully considered. No final decisions have been made and staff continue to collect information for council.
March 23 Report
The latest report was presented to Grey County Council on March 23. This meeting was recorded and can be found in two parts on the Grey County YouTube channel. No decisions were made and council will discuss long term care again at a meeting on May 11. Staff will bring forward a report including a summary of feedback received from the public. No decisions are expected at this meeting and long term care will be discussed again on May 25.
Public Information Meetings
Share your thoughts on long term care
Feedback can be emailed to LTCreview@grey.ca, or you can call 519-376-9477 and leave a message.
Sienna Senior Living was hired to review the County’s long-term care operations and redevelopment options. The consultant’s recommendations focused on finances only. They presented their findings to County Council on April 5, 2016. They offered three scenarios with estimated costs.
Working with the LHIN
The Southwest Local Health Integration Network (LHIN) oversees long term care in our region. One of their responsibilities is making sure residents have reasonable access to long-term care beds. We are working closely with the LHIN to understand what Grey County’s long term care needs will be over the next 30 years. Ultimately, the LHIN and the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care will need to approve any redevelopment decisions we make.
Why is the County looking at changing long-term care services now?
The Rockwood Terrace home in Durham must be redeveloped by 2025, because by that point, the 100 beds there will not meet new provincial standards. To provide the best quality care to our residents, we need to plan now how to redevelop this facility. If we do not do something, Grey County could lose the license for those 100 beds, which are critical to serving our community.
As well, our population is aging. Grey County wants to make sure that there is a continuum of care available in the community that can serve the needs of our aging population. In addition to long-term care, we know there will also be growing demand for assisted living and other seniors housing.
What is Grey County proposing to do with its long-term care facilities?
Grey County is proposing to merge the Grey Gables and Rockwood Terrace homes into a new facility in Durham by 2025. Grey Gables would be converted into an assisted living facility. There would be no changes to our long-term care staffing and southern Grey County would still have the same number of long-term care beds to serve its needs.
What is the process?
Grey County staff will collect information and present it to Grey County council for their consideration. Once council makes a decision whether to amalgamate beds or to continue with three homes, staff will issue a Request for Proposal and work with architects to create plans for a new home. The Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care and the Southwest LHIN will need to approve any changes to the location of long-term care services in the County.
Why does Rockwood Terrace need updates?
Rockwood Terrace was built in 1984. Although the home has been very well maintained over its lifetime, it needs significant updates to comply with new ministry standards by 2025.
How much does it cost to construct a long-term care home?
Consultants estimate it will cost between $180,000 to $230,000 per bed to construct or redevelop a home. This figure depends on a variety of factors which will be determined when the project goes out to public tender. The 100 beds at Rockwood Terrace are eligible for a Redevelopment Grant to offset the cost.
Has Council made a decision about redeveloping Rockwood Terrace?
No final decisions have been made. Council will discuss long term care again on May 11th during Committee of the Whole.
Will the decision be strictly based on financial costs?
Understanding the cost of each redevelopment scenario is only one step in the decision making process. County staff will work with the Southwest LHIN and community and service delivery partners to look for ways to deliver care and services more effectively.
How will redevelopment affect residents of the homes?
Our number one priority is the health and comfort of our residents. Regardless of the direction this project takes, every effort will be taken to ensure a smooth and safe transition. There will be a long notice period before any changes take effect.
How much of the County levy is spent operating long term care?
In 2017, $6.2 million was budgeted from the County levy to operate all three homes. This includes staffing, maintenance of the building, food and other services. The total operating cost, including provincial funding and resident payments, is $30 million.
Why did consultants recommend moving beds to Grey Gables and building an addition?
Consultants were hired to look at Grey County’s redevelopment options from a financial perspective. They supported this option because it is the most cost-effective by their calculations and doesn’t rely on the sale of property. Their recommendation only considers construction costs and potential operational savings. From a service perspective, it is important to also consider availability of all beds in the region before making a decision.
Why are staff recommending moving the beds from Grey Gables to Durham instead?
Staff are looking at the bigger picture of long term care and the needs of residents today, tomorrow and in 25 years. Consultations with the Southwest LHIN showed that providing beds to the west provided more equitable access to more people.
When will the new home be built?
Once a decision is made it will still take at least 2-3 years before any new construction project would be built. All plans will need to be approved by the Ministry of Health and Long Term Care and the Southwest LHIN.
Where will the new home be located?
No final decisions have been made at this time. If the March 23 report recommendations are supported, a new state-of-the-art home with 166 beds will be constructed at a location in Durham. The specific location is not yet known.
Will my loved one have to move?
If Grey Gables beds are merged, the residents of both Grey Gables and Rockwood Terrace will be comfortably transitioned into the new building. If Rockwood Terrace is to the same size, only residents of Rockwood Terrace will be moved to the new home.
Regardless of the outcome, the care and wellbeing of our residents will be our primary concern.
What if my loved one doesn’t want to go to Durham?
Any movement to a new home is still years away. During the transition period we will take steps to ease residents into the new facility. Long term care residents always have the opportunity to request a transfer from the CCAC.
What will happen to Grey Gables?
If the March 23 report is supported, Grey County will work with private operators to bring other much needed seniors services to Markdale. There is a great need for assisted living and memory care (different than long term care) in Markdale and Grey Gables is laid out well for these services.
Will staff be laid off?
Staffing losses are not expected with the amalgamations of beds. With a large number of staff preparing to retire within the next six years, we expect jobs to remain with the County and staff to remain in the same positions. The amalgamation of beds will also create opportunities for more full-time positions for employees.
Will staff move to Durham?
If Grey Gables beds are moved to Durham, existing Grey Gables staff will work out of the new home in Durham.
Is Grey County trying to privatize long term care beds?
No. Grey County will keep control of all of its 316 long term care beds. The recommended sale of Grey Gables to a private operator will bring more new senior’s services to Grey County, increasing overall access to assisted living.
What will happen to Grey Highlands municipal offices?
If Grey Gables beds are moved to Durham, Grey Highlands will be given advance notice of the County’s intentions and will have multiple years to determine what would be best.
What will happen to other onsite services like Grey Ag Services and Kids & Us?
Tenants will be able to operate businesses as usual until a buyer is found for former homes. This is years away. Grey County will look for opportunities to encourage the new owners to keep the leases, but it can’t be guaranteed.
How much will the new home cost?
The total building cost of a 166-bed home is projected at around $30 million. A significant portion of this cost will be funded by the Province for the 100 class B beds at Rockwood Terrace. This will be paid at a rate of $635,00 per year over 25 years. Grey County will cover the remaining costs. Funds have already been proactively saved.
Will my taxes increase because of this?
Building a new 166 bed home will have a limited immediate impact on the tax levy and reductions are expected as service efficiencies are realized.
How much money does the County have to invest in this project?
The value of the provincial redevelopment grants is about $635,000 per year for 25 years or $15 million.
Why are you selling Grey Gables?
Grey Gables is in great condition to provide other services seniors need, like a retirement home. By amalgamating beds and selling Grey Gables as a retirement home, the County would keep all 166 long term care beds in south grey and bring even more assisted living options to the area.
How is long term care different than a retirement home?
Long term care is a specialized level of medical and personal care for people living with advanced medical conditions. Long Term Care is the responsibility of Province and is overseen locally by the Southwest LHIN. More medical staff are required for long term care because residents have more complicated health issues.
Not all people require long term care, but they may need other assisted living services. Retirement homes provide basic personal care, meals, housekeeping, social activities and 24-hour emergency response. Alzheimer’s or memory care provides the same with additional focus on medication monitoring.
Seniors apartments are often successful when connected to an assisted living residence. Apartments allow residents to live independently with the security of 24 hour emergency response, social activities and options for meal services.
What will happen to the existing Rockwood Terrace building?
The existing building will be sold if a buyer can be found. Unfortunately they layout and age of the building make it very unlikely it could be renovated and repurposed into a service for seniors.
What is the Local Health Integration Network’s (LHIN) responsibility in the distribution of long-term care beds?
The LHIN is responsible for ensuring residents have equitable access to long-term care beds throughout the LHIN geography. They want to achieve between 80-110 beds per 1000 people over the age of 75+, within 25km of their residence.
Grey County has a large population of seniors. Can we add more long-term care beds during redevelopment?
According to the LHIN, it is very unlikely the Province would approve adding more (new) beds to existing long-term care facilities. The Southwest LHIN has the second highest supply of long term care beds in Ontario. The option of moving Grey Gables beds to Durham creates an opportunity to bring a retirement home to Markdale that could be expanded to include seniors apartments.
Can Grey County transfer beds to a for-profit facility in the area?
The LHIN prefers for bed transfers to happen only between similar long-term care facilities (for example non-profit to non-profit or for-profit to for-profit).