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Jan. 23, 2022 | Sunday
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Pleasant Manor approved for new 160-bed care facility
Radiant Care Pleasant Manor CEO Tim Siemens. A new 160-bed facility is planned as an addition to Pleasant Manor. (File/Richard Harley)

Existing home will be converted to community housing for seniors


Pleasant Manor long-term care home in Niagara-on-the-Lake now has all the pieces in order for its new 160-bed facility, after being granted 38 additional bed licences.

The new facility will replace the existing long-term care home in Virgil.

In 2018, when contruction of a new facility at the home was given a green light, the province had only allotted 122 bed licences (including 41 already at the facility). The 38 additional beds brings the total of new beds in the new facility to 160.

Tim Siemens, CEO of Radiant Care Pleasant Manor, said he's been pushing hard to get the new bed licences.

"Back in April of 2018, the government allocated 81 new bed licences to Pleasant Manor. And when we do the math, 81 plus 41 is 122. We were 38 beds shy of reaching that number of 160 that we were approved for," he said.

"And so we've been pushing hard since that time in 2018 to obtain another another 38 licences. That's the big change since 2018," he said and it makes the 160-bed project "viable and ready to go."

He said he's excited the project can move forward as planned.

"We've been waiting a long time for this. The plan itself is 22 years in the making and that extends beyond the 20 years I've been with the organization."

He said the new facility will have a positive impact on the community, offering more long-term care beds to people who need them, and take up some of the loss from the closing of Upper Canada Lodge (a facility operated by the Region of Niagara).

The expansion will see 119 new beds created at Pleasant Manor. The other 41 beds will be taken by current Pleasant Manor residents, who will switch to the new facility when it is constructed. The facility with the original 41 beds will be converted into community housing for seniors.

The additional beds will help Pleasant Manor "respond to current and projected demand for long-term care in our community," Siemens said.

"We know that our community of Niagara-on-the-Lake has the highest percentage of people 65 years of age and over, I think, in the country. I think it's over 31 per cent now and that will continue for the foreseeable future."

"Extending beyond the long-term care project, it allows Pleasant Manor to retrofit the existing long-term care home, once it's vacated, to create semi-independent housing for our seniors in our community, which is a desperate need as well."

Siemens said the project will also bring about 200 jobs to the municipality.

"That's really huge," Siemens said. "And that is something from an economic standpoint."

"Not everybody will live in Niagara-on-the-Lake. Some people will be coming from outlying communities, but the fact remains that we will need to hire about 200 new employees," he said.

"When the new home is opened up, the 41 residents from Pleasant Manor's existing long-term care home will move across the property into the brand new long-term care home. And then we will welcome 119 new family members to the Pleasant Manor family."