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Finnish Resthome plans expansion, 66 new full- and part-time jobs

Within 15 years, more than 30 per cent of area residents will be 65 or older. But Sault Ste, Marie has the fewest hospital beds per senior in the northeast region
11-2020 Finnish Resthome
The proposed new building (shown circled) will double the size of the Mauno Kaihla Koti (MKK) nursing home to 128 beds. MKK is one of four housing facilities at the Finnish Resthome's Sault campus on North Street. Map supplied

Ontario Finnish Resthome Association is planning to double the size of its Mauno Kaihla Koti nursing home to accommodate an anticipated surge in demand from baby boomers needing housing and care options.

Paul Belair, chief executive officer of the nonprofit charitable organization, will be at Sault Ste. Marie City Council on Monday to seek the city's blessing on its funding application to Northern Ontario Heritage Fund Corp. 

The group estimates an average of 25 to 30 construction workers and tradespeople will be employed daily during construction, which is expected to take between 18 and 24 months.

It signed a development agreement with the Ontario government in August and is now ready to advance the initiative.

About 37 permanent new full- and part-time nursing and personal care jobs will created, as well as 19 dietary positions and 10 jobs in environmental and maintenance services, councillors will be told.

The proposed new building will double the size of the Mauno Kaihla Koti (MKK) nursing home to 128 beds.

MKK is one of four housing facilities at the Finnish Resthome's Sault campus on North Street.

It provides 24-hour nursing and personal care services to individuals who are no longer able to look after themselves in their own home.

The following is from the Finnish Resthome Association's explanation of why it wants to proceed with the project:

  • the proportion of area residents 65 and older is growing
  • by 2036, more than 30 per cent of area residents will be 65 and older
  • Sault Ste. Marie has the lowest number of hospital beds per senior in the northeast Ontario region
  • Sault Ste. Marie has the second lowest number of LTC beds per senior n the northeast Ontario region
  • demand for housing and care options is high now, and getting higher each year
  • given demographic trends, the Finnish Resthome's chief goal in this project is to provide increased housing and care options for a growing number of seniors in our community who are under-serviced
  • the proposed state-of-the-art facility will provide a higher standard of living for residents requiring 24/7 care
  • learnings from the COVID-19 pandemic will be applied in ensuring the building has numerous infection-control and -prevention features
  • resources will be sought to incorporate technology designed to lessen isolation should another pandemic occur in the future

The Finnish Resthome Association is preparing to launch a 'How you can help” marketing campaign aimed at raising $2 million over three or four years, depending on the final construction plan.

With help from its ladies' auxiliary, the group has already raised $500,000 over the past three years through fundraising initiatives and private donations.

Monday's City Council meeting will be livestreamed on SooToday starting at 4:30 p.m.


David Helwig

About the Author: David Helwig

David Helwig's journalism career spans seven decades beginning in the 1960s. His work has been recognized with national and international awards.
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