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Education Minister Becky Druhan visited Hillside Pines in Bridgewater on Tuesday to announce 50 replacement beds, along with 46 new beds in a replacement facility due to be complete by 2029. Photo: Evan Taylor.

Hillside Pines to expand, offering enhanced care for South Shore seniors

By Evan Taylor Nov 28, 2023 | 1:19 PM

Bridgewater, NS – In a significant step toward improving long-term care for seniors in the South Shore region, Minister of Education and Early Childhood Development, Becky Druhan, announced plans for the new Hillside Pines Home for Special Care today, November 28. The facility, set to open in 2029, will provide 96 modern, local rooms for seniors in need of long-term care.

Minister Druhan, speaking on behalf of Seniors and Long-Term Care Minister Barbara Adams, emphasized the significance of the investment in modern facilities. “Seniors needing long-term care will benefit greatly from this investment in modern facilities that will allow them to live in comfort,” she stated. “This investment will ensure that our loved ones are receiving the right care in the right setting, which will help relieve pressure across our entire healthcare system.”

The new Hillside Pines will feature 50 replacement rooms and 46 additional rooms, contributing to the recent addition of 2,200 rooms in the Province’s long-term care infrastructure plan. The expansion plan involves the construction of new long-term care homes, adding approximately 800 rooms to the system, and replacing older facilities with modern ones, totaling around 1,400 rooms. All new homes are expected to be ready by 2032, addressing the care needs of Nova Scotia’s aging population.

Notably, all the new living spaces will be single rooms, each equipped with its own private washroom. The government is collaborating with various long-term care providers for the construction of these new facilities and the replacement of existing ones.

Minister Druhan also shared that more announcements about the locations of new and replacement rooms are anticipated in the coming weeks. Progress updates on all 5,700 rooms, including information on the new Hillside Pines, can be found at [insert link].

The initiative to build and improve more long-term care rooms aligns with Action for Health, the Province’s strategic plan to enhance healthcare. The commitment to constructing and renovating facilities with single-bed rooms, ensuring seniors live with dignity, and can age well, is also part of the Seniors and Long-Term Care Minister’s mandate.

As of November 15, current waitlists for long-term care spots across the province exceeded 1,700 people waiting at home. More than 70 percent of those waiting at home receive home care. Seniors constitute nearly 22 percent of Nova Scotia’s population, and this is expected to rise to over 25 percent by 2032. The Office of Healthcare Professionals Recruitment, Department of Seniors and Long-Term Care, and the continuing care sector are collaboratively working to recruit the staff needed to support the delivery of care for the new rooms. Marisa Eisner, Administrator of Hillside Pines, expressed enthusiasm about the announcement, stating, “Christmas has arrived early this year.” She added, “We are thrilled with this announcement today, which helps Hillside Pines stay true to its vision of being a great place to live and work.”