“Why is this home not as nice as that other one?"

Families like Pat and Cindy want a newer, more modern long-term home for their loved ones.

Pat thinks his dad, Frank, won’t adjust well to a four-resident room.

He’s been living alone in his Collingwood home for 10 years now. And before that it was just him and mom. He won’t like having roommates.

Frank has been unable to continue living on his own since the spring. He had a brief stay in hospital after a fall and since then has been cared for at home. A PSW is there most of the time and Pat and his wife, Cindy, fill in the gaps. Their three kids are in high school, so they can manage the odd dinner on their own, but life has become a complex affair of juggling everyone’s schedule – including Frank’s.

Frank has lived most of his life in Collingwood and it’s important for him – and for Pat and Cindy – to find a bed in town. They’ve visited a couple of homes, even some of the newer homes in the region. Of course, the older homes in town don’t look as nice but the staff were caring and professional and there’s a lot of organized programming.

“That was a lot of activity in the dining room of the small home,” says Pat. He and Cindy visited an older home around lunchtime and all the wheelchairs and walkers crowded the large room making it feel like a busy cafeteria.

“It’s strange, but the newer home we went to see had these smaller dining rooms on each floor. You’d think that would make it seem more cramped but it was the opposite. Everything seemed less hectic, more like a restaurant,” recalls Pat.

With Frank in a wheelchair, at least for now, he would find the wider corridors and larger rooms of the newer home much easier to navigate. A newer home is where Pat and Cindy want him to go, but it’s that much further for family and friends to drive. Is it better to be more comfortable or more connected to your community?

Ontario caregivers are facing this choice more often as older long-term care homes lack the funding and tax incentives to redevelop.

NEARLY HALF OF ONTARIO’S LONG-TERM CARE HOMES NEED TO BE RENOVATED OR REBUILT. LEND YOUR SUPPORT.

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