North Perth council approves long-term care feasibility study

·2 min read

NORTH PERTH – At its meeting on Dec. 14, council voted unanimously in favour of having a feasibility study regarding the long-term care (LTC) needs in North Perth completed.

At the previous council meeting, Mayor Todd Kasenberg requested a report to be prepared regarding a feasibility study for an LTC home in North Perth.

The lack of availability of LTC beds in North Perth has been a concern for many years. As reported in a 2017 report on LTC Beds in Perth County, the bed ratio in North Perth is below the Local Health Integration Network target using a 10-km radius, requiring many citizens to leave the community for LTC.

As North Perth continues to grow, and more seniors and late-career adults move to the area, the need for local LTC beds will significantly increase.

Recently, CAO Kriss Snell and Kasenberg have participated in discussions regarding the future of LTC beds within North Perth with Listowel Memorial Hospital CEO Karl Ellis, Perth-Wellington MPP Randy Pettapiece, and an expert stakeholder with a long history in the LTC field.

Through these discussions, it has been proposed that the next step in this investigation would be a feasibility study of LTC in North Perth. Through this study, local data would be obtained on the community’s need for beds. This data is critical for moving forward on an application to the Ministry of Long-Term Care for LTC Home Development.

The study is expected to cost $3,500. These funds are currently available within the CAO Operating Budget for Consultant Fees.

Coun. Rothwell asked whether the 10-km radius was for all of North Perth.

Snell said the ministry looks at North Perth as one unit.

“That’s one reason why North Perth is now considered underserviced because we have beds in the south end of Perth County that makes up for our deficit in the north but as you know St. Marys is a long way away from North Perth,” he said. “If you are using the ministry numbers the 10-km radius is by far our biggest deficit, we also have a 25 and a 50-km radius. The further you go out the better our numbers get but it would still require our residents to leave the community they have grown up in, raised their kids in and they still have family in North Perth. It’s always been an issue for our community.”

Colin Burrowes, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Listowel Banner