As with many large construction projects, the groundbreaking ceremony for the new Extendicare long-term care (LTC) home in Kingston serves as a milestone, and signals the start of a $51 million project, which is scheduled for completion in February of 2023.
Tucked away behind the RioCan centre on Gardiners Road at Taylor Kidd Boulevard in Kingston’s west end, Extendicare President and CEO, Dr. Michael Guerriere, was joined by Mayor Bryan Paterson to for the official groundbreaking of the project.
“It is essential that we replace or upgrade every older long-term care home in our network to meet the needs of the people we serve,” Dr. Guerriere said in a statement.
And that’s precisely what is happening with this project here in Kingston. The new Extendicare Kingston will replace Extendicare’s existing LTC home in the city, and include an additional 42 beds, with the new facility offering space for 192 residents. The three-storey building will be 107,922 square feet, which works out to 562 square feet per resident, or almost double the space available at the current site, according to Extendicare.
The long-term care home will also offer fresh and inviting spaces for residents, who will each have their own bedroom. These will include:
- “Neighbourhoods of self-contained, 32-resident home areas with dedicated dining rooms, more activity space, and lounging areas.”
- A country kitchen, physiotherapy room, and resident access to a secure outdoor space
- Ample parking for visitors
- Clinic offerings, such as restorative care, palliative care, and additional space for families supporting residents through end-of-life care.
This “updated home model” will “help build a stronger sense of community and comfort for residents, especially those living with dementia,” Extendicare said in a media release.
With the COVID-19 pandemic still ongoing, many immediately wonder about design specifications that will work to combat outbreak issues like those experienced in many LTC facilities across Ontario over the past two years. According to Extendicare, the new facility in Kingston is designed to improve infection prevention, and to control and limit the spread of virus like COVID-19 with “single resident rooms, updated HVAC systems, and larger common areas to allow for physical distancing,” and will meet or exceed Ministry of Long Term Care guidelines for new long-term care homes.
Funding for the new Extendicare Kingston building was provided through the Government of Ontario’s new long-term care sector plan, which includes a $4.9 billion investment over four years to “support hiring more than 27,000 staff, including registered nurses, personal support workers and support staff,” according to a release from the provincial government.
“This government is repairing and rebuilding Ontario’s long-term care sector after decades of neglect,” said Rod Phillips, Minister of Long-Term Care. “When the new facility for Extendicare Kingston is completed, it will have 192 modern beds for seniors in the community to call home, near their family and friends.”
Dr. Guerriere spoke to the importance of this investment in the long-term care sector.
“Modern homes built to today’s standards are needed for our residents’ care and comfort. We are grateful for this government’s historic support of long-term care, enabling redevelopment of homes across the province,” he said, before turning his focus to the new project here in Kingston.
“We also want to extend our thanks to the City of Kingston for its steadfast support for this project throughout the planning process,” he concluded. “We are proud to do our part to build a better future for seniors in this community.”