The timeline and the number of beds are top of mind when it comes to Fairvern’s revitalization. Around 50 people came out to a public consultation hosted by the Ministry of Health and Long Term Care today, to discuss the proposal to build a new facility and add 20 beds to the current 76. The ministry is taking today’s feedback to build its report, and then a decision will be made on whether or not it will give the green light to add the 20 beds.

Of everyone who spoke at today’s meeting, none were opposed to the plan and the two main concerns raised multiple times were how long the approval process will take and why only 20 beds are being proposed. The ministry’s spokesperson couldn’t give an answer as to why more beds weren’t being considered, only saying that request is outside of this licensing proposal. However, he did say the communicated need for more than 20 beds would be included in the report.

When it comes to timeline, he didn’t have an exact date for when the proposal will be approved or denied. He did say there are many factors that will be considered, including the demographics, financial reviews, an inspection of Fairvern, input from the Local Health Integration Network and public feedback. Board Chair for the nursing home, Rob Laver, noted it will take 36 months to actually build the home, however shovels can’t be put in the ground until the ministry gives the okay.

Laver says adding 20 beds will help the nursing home be financially sustainable in the years to come, as well as being able to provide more services to the residents and pay for equipment needs. He says the demand for those beds is real, and there’s a great degree of enthusiasm to move the project forward. The current Fairvern building is 70-years-old, and Laver says they’ve had to pay for elevator fixes which cost $100,000 more than expected, leaky plumbing and roof fixes. He says it drains a lot of money to keep the building going.

Laver also pointed out during the meeting that Fairvern’s waiting list is growing. In mid-2015 there were 50 people on the list, and as of last month there were 137. He says the community is growing as baby boomers age, new subdivisions are built, and people retire to their cottages and the waiting list numbers reflect those changes.

If the ministry gives the okay to the revitalization plan, the District of Muskoka has agreed to pitch in $10 million, which will pay for around 35 to 40 per cent of the building costs and the rest would come from the ministry. The new building would be located on Earls Road, adjacent to the Huntsville Hospital, which was donated by the Town of Huntsville. CAO Denise Corry noted at the meeting the town is paying for the $250,000 expense to put in a road for the building, as well as waiving all fees associated with the land development.

There is still time for the community to give feedback on the revitalization plan. The Ministry of Health and Long Term Care will be taking written submissions until December 29th, and anyone with input is encouraged to send a letter or email. You can send an email to LTCHomes.Licensing@ontario.ca or mail to:

Director under the Long-Term Care Homes Act, 2007
Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care
Licensing and Policy Branch
1075 Bay Street, 11th Floor
Toronto, ON M5S 2B1

Include Fairvern Nursing Home’s name and quote Project #18-030 on all written submissions.