In late 2019 the Oromocto Town Council proactively engaged the services of Silvermark, a local consulting company, to assist with the development of a roadmap to guide its way forward to meeting their top priority, the need for suitable housing options and delivery of care for its aging citizens. Affordable housing was also the number one issue identified through the Town’s “Age Friendly” certification process; and access to long-term care beds was identified as a key priority in the most recent health survey.
The “Roadmap to Aging Care for the Town of Oromocto” report was presented to Council last week by Silvermark. Council heard that there are no nursing home or memory care beds in Oromocto and limited housing and service options for older adults. Oromocto understands it is part of a region and that any new services in Oromocto will not only support its citizens, but the citizens it normally services in its surrounding villages and rural communities, and of course the broader Fredericton region. Oromocto is a regional hub for a large rural service area.
This report clearly identifies this need to the provincial government and several initiatives the Town has already undertaken (cataloging existing housing stock, using municipal land to drive private sector development of garden homes and bolstering recreational and outreach services to older adults through program design and the provision of space to service partners) to advance this priority. The Town does understand the efforts the government is making regarding financial stability and its prioritization of care for older adults in the home and community.
More than identifying the need, this report provides an opportunity for partners in the care community, development community, and the province to develop an innovative campus that not only addresses the bed need, but also focuses on other provincial objectives such as labour force, transitional beds and community-care models. The Town believes that there are a number of unique factors to Oromocto and a number of trends in the care environment that make a ‘demonstration project” viable. In other words, the province could, rather than simply create additional nursing home beds, seize this opportunity and create a “continuum of care’ for our region.
“The Town has set aside land, authored this report, held multiple meetings with executives and staff, and regularly discusses this service gap with elected officials. We look forward to working with the province and their dedicated staff to see what is in the realm of possibilities and where our strategic objectives can align,” said Mayor Powell.
The Town will be sharing a copy of this report with provincial offices in order to continue to advocate for increased services.