February 20, 2004 - Bancroft This Week 

A small Working Committee on the issue of seniors’ retirement residence issues is currently investigating options for the area, and is distributing an interest survey on the subject.
Several years ago, as part of the North Hastings Strategic Planning Process, the Community Futures Development Corporation sponsored a series of surveys and Town Hall Meetings.  The purpose was to establish the needs and concerns in the community.  The need for retirement housing options was identified and prioritized.
To date, the Community Futures Committee for Seniors’ Retirement Residence has investigated some existing facilities in Eastern Ontario, made inquiries on sites, and contacted several groups to determine if other organizations or businesses are considering doing such a project.  “Good housing for seniors that is safe, secure, and affordable is crucial for the long-term health of residents.  Several groups have come forward with proposals that are carefully designed to meet this need. Our objective is to give residents the ability to stay longer and with more comfort in an environment that is appropriately supportive,” says Kent Anderson, Chair of the Committee.
The committee recognizes that there are different types of housing that are suited to the resident’s physical needs.  "Independent units" are just like your present home, only more suitable - smaller, with no steps, and no requirement for outside maintenance.  Some support services may be available as needed, like home care.  "Assisted units" generally are smaller - more like large hotel rooms - and may have a kitchenette.  Meals and laundry are provided, along with some personal care.
“We fully support the Horvat Initiative on the former North Hastings Hospital property, and believe it to be one of a number of viable and complementary opportunities available”, said Chair Anderson. The committee believes that, since in Ontario, only 6% of us will ever need to live in a nursing home, assisted and independent living retirement residences are more likely options.  “The committee feels that the Bancroft area has the potential for such a development.  We need effective input from the community.”
The committee has developed a survey, in order to understand the need for suitable retirement housing for seniors in North Hastings.  According to the survey, several groups are exploring the possibilities of building a project, which may include bungalow townhouses and garden apartments, club facilities and a retirement home.  The survey is available online at or by calling 332-5564.