Jennifer Clow | Aug 07, 2019
My name is Jennifer Clow. I am the sole owner of Counrtyview Care Retirement Home. I opened the home almost 13 years ago, long before the government was involved in any way with retirement homes in Ontario. Now I have to be licensed and to be licensed I have to jump through all their hoops(which I have done) and am in compliance. Not an easy feat, but I don’t back down when I believe in something and I believe in what Countryview does.
Recently the Government decided that all Retirement homes needed to be sprinklered. I completely agree with this. Anything to keep my Residents safe. However there was no Grandfathering in for existing homes. I got a quote of $150 thousand to complete the sprinkler. There was funding from the Government but I was told by our MPP that the program ran out of money in the first 2 months. “they underestimated the cost” I was told. So here I am being forced to comply or having to close the doors with no help. Many Retirement homes have closed due to this. Making the need to stay open even greater. Our MPP told me that Government thinks that retirement home owners are rolling in money and suggested I write this letter to the editor to inform people of this issue. He also asked that I send him a copy so he can take it to Government so that they are informed of the issue. He also told me that there was nothing he could do to help Countryview.
I opened because I saw so much abuse and neglect that went against my morals and knew the only way I could do it right was if I did it myself. When I opened I vowed I would not turn someone away because they couldn’t afford my prices which are already lower than all the other homes. I have and have had many people on ODSP or the basic income which is not enough for any other home. If these people were not at Countryview they would have no where else to go. We also keep our Residents through end of life as we believe that no one should not get to die in their own home. I have the most incredible staff working with me and no they are not paid what they are worth but they also believe in what we do. I do not draw a wage from Crountryview. I personally stay with our residents night and day if at all possible as they are going through end of life so that no one dies alone. 33 incredible people have died with us over the years. Everyone of them has taught me something. An incredible HONOR. We believe that our people should be pampered and respected, loved and cared for.
We have had some incredible people come through our doors. Many I have come to love very much. Some for only a week others for many years, all of them needed us in one way or an other and we are thrilled to give them what they need.
We come highly recommended from all the local hospitals and Doctors. We are sought after by the LHIN. We have a waiting list and yet the Government is telling me that I am responsible to complete the sprinkler system. If I received any kind of subsidies or was a 130 bed facility then ya maybe but with no financial help of any kind and only having 15 beds this is way beyond our reach and not fair to our current Residents or our future ones.
It’s sad that a very wealthy grocery store owner received funding from the Government to replace their freezers so they are more energy efficient yet there is no funding to help keep my Residents safe.
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