An Afro-Caribbean-focused long-term care home will be built in Pickering or Ajax

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By Glenn Hendry

Published on April 28, 2022 at 4:45 p.m.

Artistic representation of Ontario’s first Afro-Caribbean long-term care home. (CNW Group/D&S Group)

Ontario will help fund a non-profit long-term care home in Durham Region that will have dedicated spaces for the Afro-Caribbean cultural community – the first of its kind in Ontario.

D&S Group and the Atlantic Mas Foundation were joined by Ontario Finance Minister and MPP for Pickering-Uxbridge Peter Bethlenfalvy, former Speaker of the Legislative Assembly Dr. Alvin Curling and others invited to Pickering last Friday to announce the approval of the house, which does not yet have a final location chosen. outside.

“I am truly proud to be part of this important initiative for the Afro-Caribbean community,” said Sacha Singh, President and CEO of D&S Group. “We have surrounded ourselves with community champions to ensure we create the absolute best facility for our seniors. Our goal is to provide a beautiful living environment that everyone would be proud to call home.

The Atlantic Mas Foundation is the licensee of the project and is a well-established Caribbean cultural organization in the GTA.

“The Atlantic Mas family has been supporting the community for many years in various areas,” said family spokesperson Aisha Heywood. “We are thrilled to now have a meaningful new road to travel that will benefit the seniors we respect and care about so much.”

While there are other culturally appropriate LTC homes in Ontario, there have been none for the Afro-Caribbean community. The 128-bed home will be located in Durham Region — likely Pickering or Ajax — which has one of the highest percentages of residents of Afro-Caribbean descent in Canada.

“Our government has a plan to fix long-term care and a key part of that plan is to build modern, safe and comfortable homes for our seniors,” said Paul Calandra, the new Minister of Long-Term Care.

Friday’s announcement is part of the Ontario government’s $6.4 billion commitment to create more than 30,000 net new beds by 2028 and modernize 28,000 long-term care beds in all of Ontario.

“I am proud to support this project as it will provide much needed long-term care beds for residents of Durham, while supporting our region’s vibrant Afro-Caribbean population as it ages,” Bethlenfalvy said. “(This) announcement demonstrates our government’s commitment to ensuring that seniors receive the best culturally appropriate care in their own communities.

Dr Alvin Curling

Curling, a distinguished community leader who also supports the project as a community champion and special adviser, was the first black Speaker of the Ontario Legislative Assembly and the first black cabinet minister, in addition to numerous other diplomatic roles. and philanthropic.

“This important announcement is welcomed by the black Afro-Caribbean community,” Curling said. “The contribution of the community to the health sector is well documented. This project will certainly help meet the desperate long term care needs in our community.

This project is celebrated by many prominent members of the community.

“A sense of community is imperative throughout our lives, but especially in our later years. It’s wonderful to see something like this come to fruition for our Afro-Caribbean community,” said basketball star Jamaal Magloire retired Canadian ball, president of the Jamaal Magloire Foundation and current assistant coach of the Raptors and community ambassador.” I am proud to be part of this demographic and even prouder to see a place dedicated to ensuring that the older generation feels at home.”

The licensee will work with the Ministry of Long-Term Care to build in a suitable final location to meet ministry development guidelines.

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