SHEDIAC (GNB) – The Villa Providence nursing home in Shediac will be replaced with a new 190-bed facility by 2025-26 at a cost of $70 million.

“Villa Providence has been an important facility for the Shediac region by providing good-quality care and services to residents for more than 50 years,” said Social Development Bruce Fitch. “We now want the community to have access to the same level of care and services for years to come, and we believe the new facility will help make this happen.”

The new facility, to be called Maison Providence, will be developed and operated by Comfort Life Network, which currently operates three nursing homes in the province: Villa Providence in Shediac, Villa du Repos in Moncton and Complexe Rendez-vous in Neguac. The decision to replace Villa Providence was made based on a facility assessment report. The number of beds will remain the same.

“We are extremely proud to build a modernized facility that will address many space and functional concerns, and replace major systems at the end of their serviceable use,” said Ronald LeBlanc, executive director of Villa Providence. “The owner-operator for this project has over 50 years of experience in the delivery of nursing home services and is committed to a person-centered-care approach that empowers staff and places residents and families at the centre of all decisions.”

Maison Providence will be a two-story facility consisting of five 30-bed homes and two 20-bed homes. The complex will include social, living and dining spaces, as well as landscaped outdoor spaces for residents, staff and family members to enjoy. The home will also include a specialized unit for psychogeriatric care.

There are currently 71 licensed nursing homes across New Brunswick, providing 4,953 beds. The government plans to increase this to 80 nursing homes in the coming years, adding 600 beds.

The government has also increased the hours of care in nursing homes to 3.3 hours per resident this year. This initiative alone represents an increase of about $15 million in the annual budget for provincial nursing home services.

“And with the development of a new long-term care plan in the coming months, we want our province to take a more integrated approach in a strong continuum of care that can deliver sustainable, good-quality services for seniors over the long term,” said Fitch. “This new plan will be an important reform for the future of our province.”