Arnprior Regional Health is proud to provide quality health care services as close to home as possible. Having services available within our own community increases the overall health of our growing and aging community. In the past month we welcomed two new family physicians, a plastic surgeon, and commenced planning towards our Rural Health Hub.
We know that we cannot provide all the health care services that our community needs, as some are very specialized and we would not have the skills and expertise needed. On the other hand, we have exceptional results for the services that we do offer as measured by our patients/residents and clients. One of our most respected and sought after service is that of care provided at the Grove Nursing Home. In March of this year a survey was carried out at the Grove which confirmed that 82% of residents and families would definitely recommend the Grove. That is outstanding!
Despite these results, we are saddened to see the long wait list for residents of our community to receive care at the Grove. Last year, more than 100 people in our community (Arnprior, McNab/Braeside, and West Carleton) were seeking care in a long-term care facility. Only 11 of them were accommodated at the Grove. Over 50% of residents remained on the wait list, and the other 40% had to leave our community to receive care elsewhere.
I was recently told about the circumstances of a member of our community who is 86 years old and his wife is suffering from dementia. Since there was no space for his wife in the Grove and the respite services were limited, he had to move his wife out of their home into a long-term care facility in Ottawa. This 86 year old gentleman is driving every day from Arnprior to Ottawa, 65 kilometers each way, to spend time with and care for his loved one. He has explained to us that he is afraid for the harsh winter to come. He expects that there will be a number of days that he will not be able to visit her, or unable to travel back home from Ottawa.
Arnprior Regional Health is advocating for the expansion of additional long-term care beds as part of the Grove Redevelopment. Over the summer, with the support of the Grove Redevelopment Task Force and the Greater Arnprior Seniors Council, we launched a campaign to raise awareness around the challenges The Grove is facing and advocate for the additional long-term care bed licenses our community deserves. Our messages as noted below have been shared with several area MPP’s and the Local Health Integration Network.
The advocacy for additional long-term care beds is advanced and gaining traction, but we have yet to hear a positive commitment to address the gap, rather we hear – “we will support you…your case is strong”. As a supporter of equitable access to long-term care beds in our community you can help by sharing your stories of what it means to not have equitable access to local health care services like many other rural communities do.
Please let me know your thoughts.