One Kenton: A Sad Story

Originally published at on July 16, 2015

A lot can happen in a year. Last June, I blogged about an ‘Innovative New Community for Individuals Living with Dementia’. I highlighted how One Kenton had been able to create a state of the art residence exclusively for those individuals with dementia.
Now one year later, the residence, according to the July 8, 2015 article written in the Toronto Star , is on the verge of bankruptcy. Simply put, they have not been able to fill the 44 beds. Several other organizational issues were also highlighted. My concern is that One Kenton is a facility with so much promise and at a time when there continues to be such a need in the community, we stand to lose if the doors are closed. The biggest issue likely is the $7500.00 monthly fee.

There are a few other residences that top that monthly rate however for many families, it is simply, not affordable. However, what are the alternatives? My article on health care costs was recently published in the Financial Post and it addresses the high cost of care when looking after family members at home. The high cost is both emotional and financial. One of the challenges in comparing costs of staying at home or considering an alternative living setting is the need to fully document all of the day to day living expenses that get overlooked. Some settings, such as One Kenton are all inclusive. Retirement residences don’t make it easy for their prospective client. Many have a base rate and then there is a menu of a la carte service items. Documenting all daily/monthly and annual expenses associated with living anywhere need to be properly documented. Compare apples to apples.

We are well aware of the challenges that our public sector has in terms of providing adequate homecare. There have been recent publications in our newspapers highlighting its shortfall.

I work with families on a daily basis who struggle with not having enough care from the public sector and are not able to afford bringing in additional private pay caregivers- for undetermined periods of time. I have one family whose mom has dementia and she lives alone. Care is provided by the family during the day, the mom has a few hours per week of publicly funded care and 4 hours of private care daily. She stays alone overnight, highly medicated with the hope that she won’t awaken until the next morning when family arrive. Not a safe or unique situation.

We need more specialized residences that cater to individuals with dementia and we need them to be affordable. If the doors of One Kenton close, we are losing out.

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