A new model for a new future

I will never forget the day we moved my Dad into a care facility. His health had declined over a few years and my Mum became his primary care giver. It wasn’t the retirement plan that either one had ever dreamed of. They loved their home and had worked hard to maintain their property so it would be a place of joy, gathering, and comfort, as it had always been for our family.

The transition was not easy and, in his case, involved a few tiers of health care before he was settled into a senior’s home. In the matter of a few days, the way our family engaged changed forever. We all struggled with his initial living arrangements. The lack of privacy and the level of care in this facility left us all with a feeling of helplessness.

From my perspective, the institutional environment of an outdated facility seemed to set the tone for the delivery of care. There were good people who worked there, but there was a culture issue that needed as much of a redesign as the building itself. My Dad and our family were very grateful when a private room in a new facility became available. While my Dad’s health did not improve, I believe his quality of life in these last few years was greatly impacted, and perhaps the reason why we had him just a little bit longer.

I am sure there will be many families relieved with the news that the Passamaquoddy Lodge and Community Care Complex is one step closer to reality. Caroline Davies, chair of the development committee, is hopeful that the facility will be ready to welcome patients to their new home by 2027. That is a long time to wait for individuals and families who are “living with the constraints of the older building,” but it is also a relief to a community with an ageing population and citizens who know that long term care may become their reality.

The traditional Passamaquoddy people of this land have a strong culture of sense of place. This new inter-generational complex, which will also house a childcare facility, is a testament to the land it is built on, where families took care of each other, and children and elders learned from each other in an enriched environment that improved the lives of everyone in their community.

Crystal Murray