Manitoulin Lodge is not closing, says administrator

GORE BAY—The administrator of the Manitoulin Lodge Nursing Home in Gore Bay sat down with this reporter recently to dispel several misconceptions and myths concerning the future of the facility.

“The rumour I’ve heard the most lately is that the Manitoulin Lodge is shutting its doors,” said Lee Turley. “This is definitely not true, we plan to remain open and there are no plans to close the facility.”

“We will continue to be an option for those in the community in need for 24/7 hour nursing and personal support with short stay beds (caregiver relief), convalescent care (rest and rehabilitation to return home) and interim accommodations (for those in hospital ALC waiting for an open bed).”

“Our first and main priority is safe and quality care to residents and mitigating any risks associated with resident care,” said Mr. Turley. “When the Ministry of Health and Long-term Care announced the redevelopment of 300 older long-term care homes to bring them up to the highest design standards, they set out a one-sized-fits-all funding model. We are still awaiting more information on what the redevelopment subsidies will look like for a smaller bedded long-term care home. Currently, the funding does not consider the different licencing for short stay, interim and convalescent care types of beds.”

“There are 139 long term care homes with 64 beds or less in Ontario,” said Mr. Turley. “And many of these are located in small communities or rural areas without any other long term care homes close by. These small homes not only provide for the care needs of seniors in their communities, they are also major employers. They play an important role in the health care continuum, but need real solutions and a clear strategy if they are going to continue.”

“It remains our top priority to continue to service the seniors and families in the community and provide stable employment for our workers,” continued Mr. Turley. “Our nurses, personal support workers, dietary, maintenance and managers are all part of our family and we strive to work together to preserve our high standards of care and professionalism.”

“Earlier in 2015, a residents’ quality inspection was carried out by the Ministry of Health on the Lodge,” said Mr. Turley. “Since that time, there have been a significant progression and our team has rallied together to advance our care processes and change the culture of the home to embrace positivity, accountability, commitment and respect.”

“The difference today is astounding. In a subsequent visit, our touch points with the ministry have resulted in better outcomes and the majority of our findings were lifted,” said Mr. Turley. “That can be attributed to the staff’s hard work and dedication to excellence. However, not only will we strive to work even harder to sustain the culture changes that we have built thus far but we will push harder for better results and a better home-environment for our residents in the coming months and years.”