Grey Highlands looks for support from neighbours over stalled nursing home
Grey Highlands council would like to resurrect a working group to talk with its neighbours about the future of the Grey Gables long-term care home in Markdale.
At its meeting on May 3, Grey Highlands council unanimously approved terms of reference for a multi-municipal long-term care working group and will now gauge if neighbouring municipalities have interest in re-activating the committee.
Grey Highlands plans to contact Southgate, Meaford, The Blue Mountains and Chatsworth about re-establishing the long-term care group. Several years ago, a similar working group was in place in an effort to keep the Grey County-owned Grey Gables facility open and in public ownership.
Eventually, Grey County chose to keep Grey Gables and applied for and received 62 new beds to expand the facility. However, expansion plans have been in limbo as the county is currently focusing its efforts on the re-development of the Rockwood Terrace long-term care facility in Durham.
This has led to renewed questions in Grey Highlands about the future of Grey Gables.
“There is a concern in our community about those beds,” said Mayor Paul McQueen. “It’s important we have conversations and build support. (Grey Gables) is an important facility in the County of Grey.”
Members of council were in full support of reaching out to neighbours to restart the long-term care working group.
“This is better than sitting back and waiting for the county to do something,” said Coun. Paul Allen.
Coun. Tom Allwood said the future of the additional beds approved by the province is a significant factor.
“My concern is: either use it or lose it with those beds,” said Allwood, who said if the bed allocation is not utilized it could be back to the drawing board for Grey Gables. “We could be looking at a new application for beds.”
McQueen noted that his recent resolution at county council to re-open the Grey Gables issue and look at options to utilize the extra beds had been stalled while the Rockwood Terrace project was ongoing. McQueen said his concern is that Grey Gables could be left behind.
“There are a lot of communities looking at expanding (long-term care facilities) and there are only so many contractors out there,” he said. “There are reasons to have this committee and have these conversations and look at the big picture.”
Chris Fell, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, CollingwoodToday.ca