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Grey County is making important changes long-term care.  County Council is moving forward with plans to combine the beds at Grey Gables and Rockwood Terrace into a new 166-bed County home in Durham. This project will maintain all 166 long-term care beds in southern Grey County. In addition, Grey Gables will be converted to an assisted living and seniors facility. Lee Manor in Owen Sound is not directly impacted by this decision.

Frequently Asked Questions

Long-Term Care Redevelopment Facts

The needs of long-term care residents are becoming more complex and Ministry regulations are changing. Grey County needs to adapt to this new environment if we are to continue providing the high quality long-term care services our residents need and deserve. We are committed to a responsible and fair solution that allows us to deliver the best service possible with tax dollars.

The process we've followed

  • The Ontario Long Term Care Homes Act, 2007 changed regulations and required all long-term care homes to meet ‘Class A’ standards by 2025. Rockwood Terrace requires redevelopment to meet these standards.
  • In 2016, Grey County hired Sienna Senior Living to provide a redevelopment analysis. They presented three scenarios to council on April 5, 2016 and outlined the financial impact of each option.
  • Council discussed the presented scenarios and other challenges facing Grey County long-term care. These include staffing, responding to increasingly complex Ministry regulations and the cost of long-term care to taxpayers. Eleven per cent of the County’s budget goes to long-term care ($6.3 million in 2018). Council requested staff return with additional financial information.
  • On July 5, 2016, Grey County discusses the three redevelopment scenarios with Southwest Local Health Integrated Network (LHIN) Team Lead, Julie Girard, for guidance regarding long-term care service delivery planning. LHINs are responsible to the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care for the planning, integration and resource allocation for health services, including long-term care services.  
  • On March 23, 2017, staff proposed the merger of Grey Gables and Rockwood Terrace into a new 166-bed home in Durham.  The staff report considered current and future long-term care challenges, improvements to care, impact to the levy, community needs, the intentions of private-care providers, current County long-term care assets and selling Grey Gables as an assisted living facility. There are currently no retirement homes or memory care facilities in the Markdale area. Council deferred the vote until May 11, 2017.
  • On March 30 and March 31, 2017 the County hosted two public meetings to outline the proposal and answer questions. Feedback was collected at these meetings and in the following weeks by phone, online and by mail.
  • An information report was presented to council on May 11, 2017 summarizing the comments received. The redevelopment vote was deferred again to May 25, 2017 to allow for more information to be collected.
  • In a recorded vote May 25, 2017, the majority of County Council supported the merger of the two homes as the best solution for addressing the County’s long-term care needs.  
  • September 2017 a redevelopment proposal was sent to MOHLTC for consideration. The County has not yet received a response.
  • On November 7, 2017 and April 18, 2018 the previous Liberal government announced new long-term care bed licenses.
  • Council, in a second recorded vote May 10, 2018, maintained its decision to build a 166-bed home in Durham as the best solution for Grey County.

What to expect next

  • On June 7, 2018 Ontario elected a new provincial government under Doug Ford. It is unclear when Grey County will be notified about its redevelopment application.
  • In the Premier’s throne speech on July 12, long-term care is mentioned as a priority.
  • If the recommendation to merge Grey Gables and Rockwood Terrace into a new home in Durham is approved by the LHIN and the Province, redevelopment is still years away. It will take time to create all necessary plans and construct the home.
  • Grey County will keep staff and the public informed of all progress made on the redevelopment discussion.
  • The provision of high-quality care to the residents at both Rockwood Terrace and Grey Gables will continue to be Grey County’s priority during the entire process.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why did the county start talking about long-term care redevelopment?

Rockwood Terrace in Durham needs to be redeveloped by 2025 to meet new provincial standards.

Redeveloping a home allows Grey County to address other issues facing long-term care. These issues include:

  • the more advanced needs of residents (residents of long term care have greater needs than ever before)
  • challenges finding skilled workers to fill jobs
  • expiring bed licences
  • rising costs of long term care service delivery

Why combine the beds from Grey Gables and Rockwood Terrace?

A new larger home allows Grey County to provide better care for our residents. It will be laid out to meet ministry standards and optimize care, including resident’s access to staff. A larger home can also create efficiencies which can reduce the amount need to be raised through taxation each year.

Why build in Durham?

Durham provides the best alingment between the population requiring care and access to services. The decision to build there considered the projected demographics for seniors over the next 30 years, the intentions of other private long term care service providers, and discussions with the Southwest LHIN. 

In addition, the Grey Gables building is in good condition and is well suited for less intensive services for seniors, such as assisted living and memory care. There is also an opportunity for a new owner to expand and build senior’s apartments which are needed in the area. This plan maintains all 166 municipal long term care beds and attracts more services to Grey County. This will create jobs and meet the needs of seniors who need help but don’t qualify for long term care.

What’s the difference between long-term care and assisted living/memory care/retirement homes?

Long-term care is a specialized level of medical and personal care for people living with advanced medical conditions.  It is regulated by the Province and overseen locally by the Southwest LHIN. More medical staff are required for long-term care because they have more complicated health issues.  Only patients referred to long-term care can live in a long term care facility. Monthly rates for care are set by the Province based on the individual resident. The same rates are applied consistently to private, public and non-profit homes.

Assisted Living (often called retirement homes) provides basic personal care, meals, housekeeping, social activities and 24-hour emergency response. This is typically what people think of when they think of seniors care. Alzheimer’s and memory care facilities provides the same with additional focus on security and creating a low stress environment for these residents. Anyone can apply to live in an assisted living or memory care facility. Monthly rates are set by the operator at levels the market can support.

How much does it cost to construct a long term-care home?

We estimate costs to be about $230,000 per bed. 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 from the Province to offset some of the cost.

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 will redevelopment impact long-term care residents?

Our number one priority is the health and comfort of our residents. Building a new facility will take time and care at Rockwood Terrace and Grey Gables will continue unchanged until the new facility is complete and ready for occupancy.

When will the new home be built?

This is not yet confirmed.  All plans need to be approved by the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care and the Southwest LHIN. 

Can Grey County get more long-term care beds?

The Province issues licences for long term care beds.  Grey County has one of the highest ratios of long term care beds to people over the age of 75 in all of Ontario. If funding for new beds was made available, it is unknown if Grey County would qualify for new beds when other areas, such as Toronto and London, are not meeting the Ministry's targets.


Long Term Care
Grey Gables
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