Huntsville’s Fairvern Nursing Home is banking a win with the province. Ontario announced today it has accepted the long-term care home’s application to add 20 beds to its current 76, as part of Fairvern’s plan to build a new 96-bed facility. The District of Muskoka has agreed to pitch in $10 million for the redevelopment, which will pay for around 35 to 40 per cent of the building costs. The rest would come from the ministry, however it has not yet approved that application.

The new building would be located on Earls Road, adjacent to the Huntsville Hospital, on land donated from 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.

A public meeting was held by the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care in December to hear public feedback on the application to add the 20 beds, with all of the around 50 residents who came out supporting the expansion plan. However, many were concerned that adding 20 beds wouldn’t be enough.

Board Chair for the nursing home, Rob Laver, said at the meeting 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. 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 November, there were 137.

Ontario’s Minister of Health and Long-Term Care, Dr. Helena Jaczek, says by adding 20 new long-care beds to the redevelopment of Fairvern more seniors will be able to access the care they need in the community, staying close to family and friends.

Administrator of Fairvern, Tracy Badger, says this approval puts the home one-step closer to redevelopment and it’s great news for the community and for Fairvern.

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