By Jim Barber
When looking for a place to settle down and raise a family or to move or start a business venture, quality of life is becoming of greater significance as a parameter in the decision making process.
And that means looking at the quality of life for one’s family, oneself and one’s potential employees through all of life’s stages.
The Bay of Quinte Region, like much of southeastern Ontario, features a population that is slightly older than most other parts of the province. The percentage of residents over the age of 65 is growing, but so is the income levels of those people, as many are retirees looking for a quieter pace of life and a more comfortable environment in which to live.
The number of residential developments to meet this growing demand from so-called ‘empty nesters’ is being met ably by local developers and construction firms. And municipal governments throughout the Bay of Quinte Region have recognized the importance of this group in their planning, by ensuring that there are superior medical and recreational amenities available for a more active group of retirees.
As well, the region is also replete with facilities for seniors who require more care as they age. For families already living locally and those moving to the area who may want to bring their aging parents or grandparents closer, there are a number of private and publically-owned long-term care facilities to meet their needs.
And it’s also good for those folks retiring to the region in their 50s and 60s to realize that there are places where they can continue to live full, active lives knowing that their needs will be met by a range of facilities in a part of the province that also offers a great natural environment, lower cost of living, and a friendly, folksy atmosphere.
There are currently 20 long-term care facilities within the Bay of Quinte Region, which includes Brighton, Hastings County, Prince Edward County and Lennox & Addington County.
Between them, according to stats from the Southeast LHIN (Local Health Integration Network) they operate over 1,900 beds, varying in level of care and length of stay.
Hastings County has two facilities which are owned by the upper-tier municipal government, in association with the Cities of Belleville and Quinte West.
Hastings Manor, on Dundas Street West in Belleville, has 253 beds with private, semi-private and basic rooms. Respite care is also available for local families. The home’s activation department is always busy coming up with unique and fulfilling ways to meet the physical, emotional, social, spiritual and intellectual needs.
Understanding that each resident has their own individual interests and needs, they are given a wide cross section of activities in which to participate, from daily exercise and even sports, to non-denominational church services and Bible study to musical entertainment, bingo, one-on-one visits, community outings, in-house continuing education programs, and even spelling bees.
The facility also has a specialized Alzheimer unit and a palliative care unit.
Hastings Centennial Manor in Bancroft has 110 beds, similar in nature to those at Hastings Manor. The staff there also offers the same sorts of intellectually, spiritually, socially and physically stimulating programs as its Belleville counterpart, but is also in a more rural environment, offering close contact with the rolling hills and lovely vistas of northern Hastings County.
Hastings County also has privately owned or corporately owned facilities like the Belmont (128 beds, Belleville); Crown Ridge Place (116 beds, Trenton); E.J. McQuigge Lodge (57 beds, Cannifton); Trent Valley Lodge (102 beds, Trenton); Caressant Care Marmora (84 beds, Marmora); Moira Place – AON Inc. (128 beds, Tweed); Stirling Manor (75 beds, Stirling); and Westgate Lodge (88 beds, Belleville).
Lennox & Addington County is blessed with the state-of-the-art, county-owned John M. Parrott Centre in Greater Napanee. Constructed in 2005, it has 168 beds, of which 120 are private. The facility has created six residential home areas or ‘villages,’ each with its own amenities and dining area.
Each village has its own identity, and like real villages, they afford residents the opportunity to stroll around a visit neighbours, as well as shops, a chapel and salon. Each also has access to beautiful gardens and outdoor pathways on the centre’s spacious nine acre site. It is also conveniently located a few hundred metres from Lennox & Addington County General Hospital, as well as across the street from its former location, which now houses many specialty medical and pharmaceutical services.
Also within the boundaries of Lennox & Addington County are the privately owned Helen Henderson Care Centre (104 beds, Amherstview); Pine Meadow Nursing Home (60 beds, Northbrook); Village Green Long Term Care Facility (66 beds, Selby); and the Friendly Manor Nursing Home (60 beds, just outside Deseronto).
Prince Edward County is also blessed to feature Versa Care Hallowell House (97 beds, Picton); Kentwood Park (45 beds, Picton); West Lake Terrace (47 beds, Picton) and H.J. McFarland Memorial Home (84 beds, Picton.)
Brighton, located in Northumberland County, is host to the 49-bed Maplewood home.
All long-term care homes, whether owned by a municipality or private company, fall under a host of provincial regulations including the Ontario Health Protection and Promotion Act. The facilities’ staff work with public health inspectors and public health nurses to ensure standards of care are adhered to.
The facilities in Bay of Quinte have sterling reputations not only for the buildings and amenities themselves, but also for the quality of compassionate care residents receive, no matter their personal or health challenges.
And best of all, these homes are located in vibrant, healthy, peaceful communities that offer all the attractions and services one needs to live a full life, but also within the boundaries of some of the most beautiful landscapes and vistas in all of Ontario.
These homes are proof positive that the Bay of Quinte Region is a place were folks of all ages and stages of life can comfortably call home.