Sutton nursing home gets government funding

A long-term care home remembered for a deadly outbreak of the COVID-19 virus in 2020 has received increased funding and promises of a new facility from the provincial government.

The province announced the Sutton long-term care facility would receive almost $500 per bed each month and an additional $113 per bed per month for increased staff support for the beleaguered nursing home.

River Glen Haven Nursing Home lost more than three dozen seniors to COVID-19 during the pandemic, with many family members questioning the staff’s ability to mitigate the spread of the virus in the overcrowded ward-style rooms in the Georgina facility.

Of the initial 120 residents, 87 of those became infected, and 37 died during the spread of the contagion during the height of the pandemic.

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In an April 28 email, ATK Care Group’s Chief Operating Officer Jordan Kannampuzha said new directives ordered by the Ministry of Long-Term Care (MLTC) had mitigated the risk of spreading the COVID-19 virus.

“The Ministry of Long Term Care currently has directives limiting admissions to basic rooms (ie three or four-bed ward-style rooms) as the focus is decanting these rooms to only have two people in them. With these directives in place, River Glen Haven has a maximum occupancy of 76 residents.”

Kannampuzha said he was hopeful the government’s current staff recruitment efforts would enable ATK to hire more people for a new seniors’ care facility.

“ATK Care Group is currently working with the Ministry of Long-Term Care to begin development of a new 144-bed LTC facility in Sutton,” said Kannampuzha. “I believe the new care community will be of great benefit to the seniors of Georgina – and our neighboring communities – allowing for more of our residents to age in the community they have grown up in.”

However, residents and their families may well be concerned about the River Glen Haven’s home that struggled during the pandemic and whose management of the facility was eventually taken over by the MLTC and given to South Lake General Hospital for three months during the summer of 2020.

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