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Picton Manor Nursing Home will be closed

Picton Manor Nursing Home residents will be looking for new places to live and employees will be looking for new places to work after learning the Hill Street Picton facility will be closed.

There are more questions than answers for about 90 employees, 57 residents and their family members who learned Thursday afternoon the fate of the 78-bed long term care facility was determined by electrical, structural and financial issues.

The Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care has taken over the operation of Picton Manor and appointed Extendicare Canada, based in Markham, as interim manager. Safety concerns following fire inspections in January turned into inspections from the Electrical Safety Association and the posting of an “immense threat to life” notice until repairs were made. But further concerns remained and new admissions to the home were stopped in February.

Thursday, representatives from the ministry, Extendicare, the Community Care Access Centre and the South East Local Health Integration Network (LHIN) met residents, employees and family members in the home’s dining room area.

“This is not about resident care,” said Mary Diamond, on behalf of the ministry. “This is a significant event in the life of residents and the life of the staff of this home. It’s very unfortunate, but at this point it’s deemed very unsafe, so residents need to be moved out of the home.”

Diamond said a closure plan would be developed and promised transparency from the ministry and from Extendicare. In the meantime, she said Picton Manor will not be closed “until we move all the residents out of the home to a place of their choice.”

The move is a big concern to Dave Carpenter, whose mom Pat, at 98, is the oldest resident at Picton Manor. He chose “the Home with a Heart” because of its care, fully aware that the structure “never was all that great”. Pat has lived there for the past nine years.

“Mom could speak and walk when she came here but with strokes over the years she can no longer speak and can only use her left hand. The girls here know what she needs and wants and know her preferences. With a move, she will appear to be non-communicative. I’m sure she is still alive due to willpower. I don’t know what the move will do to her.”

Sharon Gilmore, of Extendicare, agreed the residents are in good hands at Picton Manor.

“Extendicare is here to ensure the ongoing safety and quality care of the residents. I can’t reiterate enough that it’s not about the care. There is wonderful, committed staff in the home and that’s evident when I go around to the residents about the care they’ve been provided, and, of course, that care will continue to be provided during the transition period.”

Picton Manor’s long-term staff has developed many deep, personal relationships, says employee Lisa McGill, who is also worried about the disruption for the residents as well as the staff.

“I don’t buy keeping them in the County,” she said. “They have to go somewhere and apparently we can’t do anything about it. Some of the girls (employees) will have to move, some may lose their houses.”

About four years ago, owner Steve Bordo announced plans to upgrade the Class ‘D’ facility (‘D’ meaning it does not meet 1972 standards) but facing opposition from neighbours and the municipality, he decided to build a 96-bed facility in Belleville. To date, his plan has not received required approvals. He also owns SeniorsCare which operates homes in Brighton and Bracebridge.

Diamond said the funding for the home will no longer flow to the owner.
“The money will flow through the LHIN to Extendicare which will make sure the staff get paid and all the bills get paid and the residents receive the care and services they need.”

Michelle Trace, of the Community Care Access Centre (CCAC) told the residents and families one-on-one meetings will begin Friday. The Access Centre for Hastings and Prince Edward counties is mandated by the province to coordinate the assessment and placement of people moving into a long-term care facility.

“This is considered a crisis situation and that means the residents here would have a higher priority for placement,” Trace said. “The goal is to expedite the process as quickly as we can. It is a process, and it’s lots of paperwork, but we’ll get through it together.”

The time frame, Diamond said, will depend on availability of beds. “Right now we don’t have a picture in terms of what beds are available in the area.”

About 11 of Picton’s Manor’s residents were considered “interim” residents who are waiting for an available bed in the home of their choice.
Residents will be asked to choose from 36 homes in the south-east LHIN area which includes Prince Edward, Hastings, Leeds-Grenville, Lanark, Lennox-Addington and Frontenac counties.

Prince Edward County has four nursing homes remaining – H.J. McFarland Memorial Home, Kentwood Park, Versa Care Hallowell House and West Lake Terrace.

Known as the “Home with a Heart”, Picton Manor has been part of the community for more than a century. In the early 1900s the older part of the home on Hill Street was Picton’s first hospital. The home has operated as long-term care facility since the 1960s.

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  1. Marnie says:

    They did, Kathleen. It’s called This House of Healing and you can find it in the library.

  2. kathleen thompson says:

    It s truly sad to lose a place with so much history.I was born in the hospital in 1958, but never knew much about my birthplace, as we were a military family on the move.Hopefully, someone takes the time to create a photo\ history book before the manor fades into oblivion.

  3. I Am also very sorry for the staff & residents of picton manor & especially my mom who has been a resident there these past two years. Kudos to the staff for their wonderful care Good luck in your future endevors.

  4. Doris Lane says:

    Two of my neighbors on Hill Street, as well as my husband were born in the old hospital, now the picton manor nursing.
    we live on Hill steet and it is heart warming to see the staff taking the residents for walks and having picnics in the park They take should good care of the residents
    Hopefully someone will be able to put together a history of the old hospital and the nursing home–I think there are bits and pieces of the history around

  5. Eric Pierce says:

    Unfortunately, old buildings get to the point where they are not economical to maintain. Anyone who has had extensive renovations done correctly to an old building knows that it may cost more than building a new one of the same size.

    There is a lot of history there for me, my mother, Doris Pierce was in one of the last classes of nurses to graduate from the nursing school there.

    I had my tonsils out there when I was a kid.

    My grandfather, Clarence Pierce, was a maintenance man there after he retired from the farm, I can vaguely remember him giving my dad Ralph and I a tour of the boiler room. My grandfather spent hist last days there when it was a care facility.

    I am sure that many could tell similar stories.

    Unfortunately it will probably suffer the fate of many other historic buildings and fall to the wrecker’s ball… unless someone (or some group) with deep pockets wants to buy it and spend a lot of money to bring it up to code, and perhaps re purpose it as condos or something like that.

  6. Dee Alder says:

    I am so sorry re the gals at Picton Manor ..they are so superb in love and care they have give my Mom for the past 2 years. Even though it was not the best place to visit with Mom because of the lack of a lounge for visitors, overall that was minor we decided because of her decline to a wheelchair and dementia was handled with such compassion and care. Thanks gals you are # one in our family’s book!!

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