The Glebe Centre is a 254-bed long-term care home which has been providing quality and compassionate care to seniors since its founding in 1886. The home was first located on Sussex Drive before moving to a second location on Bank Street and Holmwood Avenue.
In the early 2000s a decision was made to build a new facility to meet the growing need for quality senior care. Recognizing the opportunity to house seniors from Ottawa’s large Chinese population, June Joe from the Board of Yet Keen Seniors’ Day Centre initiated discussions with the Glebe Centre to explore the feasibility of providing culturally-appropriate care for Chinese seniors. They then jointly requested the Ontario Ministry of Long-Term Care designate one floor of the new building for Chinese residents only. The Ministry approved that request and the 6th floor became that designated space. Having an ethnic-specific floor within a main-stream facility was then a “ground breaking” concept in Ontario.
The benefit of this initiative was to enable culturally-appropriate services to be offered in one home versus in various ones across the city. This included the serving of authentic Chinese food; increasing opportunities for Chinese seniors to develop companions for mutual-support among people of similar heritage background and interests; providing Chinese cultural/festive-activities for residents’ entertainment. All these have proven to enhance the quality of the residents’ day-to-day life.
A $3,000,000 new building fundraising campaign was initiated with $500,000 required for each of the six floors. Under the leadership of Bill Joe, June Joe and Frank Ling, a group of Chinese volunteers in Ottawa came together in 2004, to raise awareness in the local Chinese Community of this opportunity to participate in the worthwhile project. Ultimately, “The Community of Care Fundraising Campaign” successfully raised a total of $550,000 for the Chinese Unit floor.
Today, the Glebe Centre’s Chinese Unit is home to 32 residents of Chinese descent.