Northumberland County Warden Offers Praise for Golden Plough Lodge

In City Hall

By Cecilia Nasmith/Today’s Northumberland

The Golden Plough Lodge came in for praise at Monday’s meeting of Northumberland County council’s Community Health standing committee.

The compliments came as the facility’s Administrator Bill Detlor delivered a report from AdvantAge Ontario, an organization that advocates for not-for-profit seniors’ care. This consists mainly of municipally operated facilities (like the Plough), which make up only 16% of Ontario’s 626 long-term-care homes (the remainder being privately owned for-profit operations).

The report contained some history of municipally operated long-term care, starting with the Municipal Institutions Act of 1868 that obligated counties with more than 20,000 people to provide Houses of Refuge for the homeless.

By 1947, the Homes for the Aged Act renamed these facilities Homes for the Aged, with the province providing 25% of the cost of building new ones.

The Homes for the Aged and Rest Homes Act of 1949 required all municipalities to establish a Home for the Aged, with regulations ensuring more consistency of care.

The 2007 Long-Term Care Homes act required at least one municipal home for every upper- or single-tier municipality. This requirement did not change with the most recent legislation, the Fixing Long-Term Care Act of 2021.

Long-term care was the hardest-hit sector in the COVID-19 pandemic, the report said, and thousands of seniors died. Municipal homes had significantly fewer staff and resident illnesses and deaths.

Also, on average, they offer more hours of care, a higher staff-skill mix, lower mortality rates, lower staff turnover, less use of restraints and fewer hospital admissions than homes in the for-profit sector.

Committee member Mandy Martin, the county warden, offered her own commendations to the GPL and how it “outshone private-enterprise units across this province during the COVID pandemic.

I think we should be proud of the facility we have here and our track record.

I heard a report this morning about the death rate from COVID, which seems to get glossed over – 50,000,” she said, noting out the shocking number of deaths early in the pandemic in a Bobcaygeon nursing home.

We have come through very, very well, and I think our staff in Northumberland County have done an exemplary job,” Martin declared.
“Thank you very much for that,” Detlor said
Cecilia Nasmith
Author: Cecilia Nasmith

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