Caressant Care re-opens beds, reaffirms commitment to care

FERGUS – Caressant Care in Fergus is now welcoming its first new admissions in over 16 months.

The nursing home was ordered in October 2017 to stop accepting new residents  due to substandard care.

On Feb. 20 the facility announced it will immediately re-open 42 beds following removal of that order by the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care (MHLTC).

“This is great news for the community of Fergus and surrounding area, because there are now 42 beds that are ready to serve the population who have been waiting to be appropriately placed … rather than continue to be waiting in a hospital environment,” communications and marketing manager Stuart Oakley stated in a press release.

“We are pleased the [ministry] has recognized our hard work and dedication to our residents and their care by removing the order that has kept … beds closed to admissions in Fergus.”

Asked to expand on the work completed at the home, Oakley said there is a “new leadership team” in place and “light renovations” included painting and the addition of new furnishings.

“We’ve certainly satisfied the ministry with the work we’ve done and the plans we have in place,” he told the Advertiser.

Oakley added the reopening will “help ease the pressure for long-term care placement, which has been a serious concern for this community.”

On Oct. 3, 2017 the MHLTC issued a “cease admissions” order to Caressant Care in Fergus.

Ministry inspections director Karen Simpson said in a letter to the Waterloo Wellington Local Health Integration Network (LHIN) the order was issued “based on my belief that there is a risk of harm to the health or well-being of residents.”

Health minister Dr. Eric Hoskins told Caressant Care officials the nursing home was “in repeated noncompliance with requirements to keep the home, furnishings and equipment clean, and in a good state of repair.

“In addition, there has been repeated non-compliance with the duty to ensure that residents are not neglected by the licensee or staff.”

According to the ministry’s public reporting website, six inspections over a 10-month period leading up to the order found 59 violations at the Fergus home, including resident neglect and unclean conditions.

The Fergus home also failed to comply with ministry orders related to fall prevention and to managing residents with “responsive behaviours.”

Oakley said Caressant Care officials have addressed  those issues and are committed to providing great care to all residents.

“We will continue to work with our care partner, Responsive Health Management and the [LHIN] as we prepare to welcome our new residents to our home,” stated Oakley.  

“We are all committed to providing exemplary care each and every day.”

Caressant Care Fergus, which has 87 beds total, was expected to welcome its first new admission on Feb. 26.