Premier Breaks Ground For New Respite Care Home
Guest House To Provide Compassionate Care, Ease Demands On Families Of Loved Ones Living With Alzheimer Disease
A new respite care bungalow at the Perley and Rideau Veterans' Health Care Centre will help enhance the quality of life for people living with Alzheimer Disease and their families, said Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty.
"Sometimes, the greatest support we can offer families of loved ones living with this heartbreaking disease is time -- time to be together and time to juggle the requirements of a profession with being a caregiver, parent and spouse," said Premier McGuinty. "The Guest House will ensure loved ones' needs are being met in a safe and comfortable setting that's just like home."
The Guest House will be an 8,000-square foot, 12-bedroom residence that will provide around-the-clock respite care for people with mild to moderate Alzheimer Disease and other dementias.
The home will support caregivers by allowing them to temporarily place their loved one in a safe, understanding, home-like environment. It will be the first home of its kind in Ottawa to offer short-term, emergency and overnight stays for guests.
Building and furnishing the home will cost an estimated $2.5 million. The Alzheimer Society of Ottawa, the Victorian Order of Nurses Ottawa-Renfrew County Branch and the Perley and Rideau Veterans' Health Care Centre have all dedicated a portion of resources to help fund the project. Fundraising efforts are underway to cover the remaining costs. The Ontario government has committed to provide annual funding to assist with the operation of the home once it is built.
"The Guest House fits well with our vision of an integrated health system where people get the care they need, as close to home as possible," said George Smitherman, Minister of Health and Long-Term Care. "This is a wonderful service that will give the necessary flexibility and support to families as they, in turn, offer care and support to their loved ones living with this disease."
"By arranging a respite stay in the Guest House for loved ones with Alzheimer Disease or a related dementia, family caregivers will be able to re-energize in order to continue caring for their spouse or parent at home," said Richard Charlebois, Chair of the Perley and Rideau Veterans' Health Centre Board of Directors. "The province has recognized the need for smaller, community-based homes for people with dementia and is leading the way by providing ongoing funding for the Guest House."
Supporting respite care is just one of the ways the McGuinty government is working on the side of families who want the best health care. Other initiatives include:
- Investing a record $1.4 billion a year in home care, while expanding home care to about 45,100 more Ontarians
- Working to prevent illness by banning smoking in public places and workplaces
- Expanding access to doctors, nurses and other health care professionals, including creating 150 Family Health Teams and creating more than 3,000 new nursing positions.
"Our seniors deserve care that is the best care," said Premier McGuinty. "By working together, we will build on the legacy our veterans have left us by creating even greater opportunity for our children, and the generations still to come."