Carbonear long-term care facility ready to open
200 residents moving into brand new building attached to hospital
It took a while to get there, but Eastern Health staff and management are now in the midst of preparing for the arrival of 200 residents at a new long-term care facility in Carbonear.
“We anticipate a very smooth move,” said Judy O’Keefe, regional director for long-term care with Eastern Health. “We have an excellent staff and team that have been working a long time here. They’ve been preparing for this for the last two years. They’ve got things down to a science. All the families are prepared. The residents know they’re moving. We know exactly where they’re going, and we know what’s coming with them.”
Equipped with 228 beds spread over four storeys, the facility will accommodate all current residents of the Interfaith Citizens’ Home and Harbour Lodge Nursing Home in Carbonear and the Pentecostal Senior Citizens’ Home in Clarke’s Beach.
Public tours at the new facility will take place Sept. 8-9. Resi- dents coming from Carbonear will move in Sept. 15, with folks from Clarke’s Beach coming the following day.
“The two here in Carbonear have been around for decades, so from a design and environmental (perspective), there are a lot of issues with that space. The space is really small. We don’t have the equipment that we need. It’s not really built for the kind of care and the kind of residents we have moving into our long-term care facilities today.
“So with this space now, we have a lot of safety features. We have ceiling lifts in all of our rooms. We have all kinds of furnishings laid out for our residents who need extra assistance, and also, the space in the room allows for safe care to be provided by our staff.”
O’Keefe said there are residents of facilities elsewhere in the province requesting a transfer to Carbonear. While there isn’t a waitlist at the moment for such accommodations in the Carbonear area, she expects that will change with time. There will be a vacant unit to start.
The new facility can accommodate residents with a variety of needs, including those dealing with the affects of dementia. There are two secure units particularly designed with those residents in mind. They feature wandering loops, and residents are also welcome to make use of an outdoor garden area.
Lounges set up for each unit will allow family and friends to have private parties with residents. There are also shared dining and activity spaces designed to provide a more home-like atmosphere.
“Whether it’s a game of cards or to be involved in baking classes or just to visit with their loved ones, we’re really looking forward to that and we think our families and our residents are going to enjoy that as well,” said O’Keefe.
The final price for the building, according to O’Keefe, came in at around $100 million. Site preparation began in 2011, and the original plan was to have residents in by late 2014 or early 2015, but that did not happen.
In March of 2015, The Telegram reported there were issues with cracked concrete flooring. People who worked on the project told The Telegram anonymously the situation was unlike anything they’d ever seen. Some drywall was also ruined after it was put up before the building envelope was sealed. At that point, it was estimated the building would be occupied by late 2015 or the spring of this year.
“It’s been a long time coming,” said O’Keefe. “We’ve been planning it for a long time, and so we’re kind of excited to open it up next week.”
The new Carbonear long-term care facility opening in September cost approximately $100 million.