Meadow Park to be replaced with 'state-of-the-art' long-term care home

Meadow Park Nursing Home administrator Anne-Marie Rumble cried tears of joy when Rick Nicholls called to say the outdated facility was being replaced.

Chatham-Kent-Leamington MPP Rick Nicholls, left, Meadow Park Nursing Home administrator Anne-Marie Rumble and Chatham-Kent Mayor Darrin Canniff attend the announcement of a new 160-bed building for Meadow Park Nursing Home in Chatham, Ont., on Friday, Nov. 20, 2020. Mark Malone/Chatham Daily News/Postmedia Network

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Meadow Park Nursing Home administrator Anne-Marie Rumble cried tears of joy when Rick Nicholls called to say the outdated facility was being replaced.

The Chatham-Kent––Leamington MPP told her the long-term care home in Chatham would receive government funding for not only 61 new beds but also a new 160-bed facility.

“Our current and our future residents, along with our staff, are so very grateful for this announcement today, and they truly deserve this new home,” Rumble said Friday outside the current 41-year-old building.

The new home, to be renamed St. Angela’s Meadow Long-Term Care Home, will be built on the corner of Keil Trail North and McNaughton Avenue West. The property already belongs to home owner Jarlette Health Services, so Rumble hopes construction can start soon.

“They have preliminary plans,” she said. “They’ve been waiting. This process has been going on for a long time. They’ve been working on this.”

Said Nicholls: “I kept emphasizing that with the minister of long-term care – Meadow Park is shovel-ready. They’re ready to go.”

The new home will be next to St. Angela’s Meadow Retirement Lodge, which offers suites and townhouses.

“What I like about it is this: Go into the townhouses, then you graduate to the retirement (home) and then you can go to long-term care,” Nicholls said. “It’s just one community. It’s community care.”

The current home on Sandys Street is “in dire need of upgrading. … We want to be able to provide the health and care that our loved ones deserve,” the MP said.

The 99-bed facility includes many four-bed wards. The new home will consist of single and double rooms.

The badly needed “state-of-the-art building” will provide more space for programs and more privacy for residents, Rumble said.

Being built to modern standards will also make it easier to address issues such as infection control and containment, Nicholls said.

“The care, the comfort and the safety of our most vulnerable is our No. 1 priority,” he said.

Meadow Park Nursing Home administrator Anne-Marie Rumble speaks with reporters after the announcement of a new 160-bed building for the long-term care home in Chatham, Ont., on Friday, Nov. 20, 2020. (Mark Malone/Chatham Daily News)

Staff members, who were joined by Chatham-Kent Mayor Darrin Canniff, applauded during Friday’s announcement.

Funding to upgrade the current 99 spaces had already been allocated by the province.

“People are living longer,” Nicholls said. “Our goal as a government is to keep them in their homes as long as possible … but there’s going to come a point in time when they have to leave their home. They’ll need another place to call home.”

On Friday, the provincial government announced 29 new long-term care projects that are scheduled to provide 2,000 new spaces and 1,000 upgraded spaces for residents.

The province is investing $1.75 billion to create 30,000 beds in 10 years.

“We are working on a plan right now to improve and increase the number of (personal support workers) that work in our facilities as well. … It’s great to have these beautiful places, but, with no staff, that’s a problem,” Nicholls said.

Chatham-Kent-Leamington MPP Rick Nicholls announces provincial government funding for a new 160-bed building for Meadow Park Nursing Home in Chatham, Ont., on Friday, Nov. 20, 2020. Mark Malone/Chatham Daily News/Postmedia Network

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