Some Northwood Nursing Home Beds to Close

Department of Health (To Jan. 11)

April 8, 2002 10:33 AM

The Department of Health and Northwoodcare Incorporated announced
today, April 8, that 43 nursing home beds in Northwood Manor will
be closed between April 9 and Nov. 1.

The closures are the result of an order made by the Office of the
Fire Marshal. The physical structure of the second floor, where
the beds are located, does not meet the fire regulations for
facilities where people need 24-hour nursing care. Interim safety
measures have been taken to allow for the closure of beds to
happen over the next eight months. This is the only floor in the
facility providing this high level of care.

At the same time, Northwood is also closing nine beds in another
part of its Northwood Centre complex. These were originally used
for respite care or temporary care, but are no longer suitable.

In preparation for the closing, Northwood has met with residents,
families and staff affected to review their options. Any resident
who wishes to remain a part of the Northwood community will be
accommodated within Northwood Centre, a 24-hour nursing-care
facility, as space becomes available. Others may choose to
transfer to a different nursing home.

"We remain committed to our values and the belief that all people
deserve to be treated with dignity, honesty and respect," said
Lloyd Brown, president and CEO of Northwoodcare Incorporated and
Northwood Homecare Limited. "We'll be working closely with
residents and their families to ensure that they are aware of the
options available and that they are able to exercise their right
to choose what's best for them."

Because of the number of beds reopening in Capital Health this
month, the Department of Health does not expect the closure of
Northwoodcare's 52 beds to affect waiting lists. An average of
nine people are placed into nursing homes each week in Capital
Health, and that rate is not expected to change. By the end of
June, 153 nursing-home beds will be reopened in the district
after two years of renovations and replacements.

"If it's necessary to close nursing home beds, the timing
couldn't have been better," said Cheryl Doiron, associate deputy
of Health. "With replacement beds coming on stream this spring,
we fully expect to be able to accommodate anyone in Northwood, in
hospital, or in the community who needs nursing home care. I'm
impressed that Northwood is undertaking this change with such
respect shown for residents, families and staff."

While these closures are taking place, Northwood will continue to
admit people requiring a lighter level of care than nursing-home
level care and clients with special care needs, such as dementia.
Admissions to general nursing care will be affected over the next
several months while residents who wish to remain at Northwood
are accommodated first.

Northwood will work with staff and the unions involved to ensure
that every effort is made to place staff in other areas of the
facility and to fill current vacancies from within. It's hoped
that the effect on staff will be minimal. About 32 staff will be
directly affected.

Northwood is the largest seniors centre providing not-for-profit
long-term care, independent living, home care and community
outreach in Eastern Canada. Founded in 1962, it has responded to
the changing needs of older adults by offering a range of
programs and services based on a philosophy that allows people to
make the most of their lives.

Northwood operates four buildings in Halifax. Northwood Towers
offers independent living to over 85 older adults. Northwood
Manor combines both personal care and independent living.
Northwood Centre is home to over 300 older adults requiring 24-
hour nursing care. The Russell Street Centre operates Northwood
Homecare, Lifeline and Telecare.


FOR BROADCAST USE:

     Over the next eight months, Northwood nursing home in

Halifax will gradually close 43 beds.

     The Fire Marshal has found the physical structure of one

floor does not meet recent regulations for facilities caring for

people needing 24-hour nursing home care.

     Nine other rooms once used only for temporary stays will

also close. Lloyd Brown, president and C-E-O of Northwoodcare,

says beds will be found elsewhere in the home for anyone in the

beds that are closing. He also says there will be little effect

on staffing.

     The Department of Health says these bed closures will not

affect people waiting for a nursing home bed in the Capital

Health district.

     By the end of June, more than 150 nursing home beds will

reopen throughout the district after two years of renovations and

replacements.

-30-

Contact: Sue McKeage
         Department of Health
         902-424-7942
         Cell:902-499-0962
         E-mail: macleosj@gov.ns.ca

         John Verlinden
         Northwood
         902-454-3377

kjd         April 8, 2002      10:32 A.M.