The Foundation upholds the Chinese tradition of honour and respect for the elderly with its long standing Mon Sheong Home for the Aged on D’Arcy Street. With the help of Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation and Ontario’s Ministry of Community and Social Services, the Mon Sheong Home for the Aged was opened on May 7, 1975 as a residential home for 65 seniors (the first three residents were admitted that day). It provides a culturally appropriate environment for elderly Chinese Canadians. The Home thus became one of the early “community halls”, where different organizations in the Chinese Canadian community met and planned their worthy projects. The Home helps to develop outreach programmes in conjunction with other organizations, like Chinese meal on wheels and medical lectures.
The Foundation continued to promote and support organizations and services for the seniors, e.g. the Chinese Senior Citizens Recreation Society, the Chinese Seniors Home Support Services Association, etc. It also lent its volunteers and sponsorship to Chinese cultural events. The members also paid frequent visits to the Chinese Canadian elderly and organized entertainment and dinners for them.
In 1985, the Home finished a major renovation and converted 34 beds to extended care level (same as nursing home beds), becoming more than half a nursing home to Chinese Canadian seniors. Architectural improvement enhanced the residents’ desired for more autonomy and privacy. At the same time more nursing and other services were provided.
By the end of 1985, the Foundation found the Home too small to serve the community, and decided to plan and expand. A feasibility study was commissioned in 1987, and areas of large concentrations of needy Chinese Canadian seniors were focused on and their needs assessed.
In 1990, the Ministry of Health awarded 40 nursing home beds to the Mon Sheong Foundation. The Foundation acquired neighbouring land for extension. On June 29, 1997, Queen Elizabeth II visited the Mon Sheong Home for the Aged on D’Arcy Street, and laid the cornerstone for the Home’s new wing. The building had been holding 65 beds until 1999, and with its successful phase of expansion, extended to a total of 105 beds. Building a home close to families and the familiar landmarks of Toronto’s Chinatown was an early focus of the Foundation. The home is a convenient health care centre for elderly Chinese living in the area and provides a day program to support those who wish to stay in their homes. The Foundation increased its outreach with its Asian Meals-on-Wheels program, ensuring independent senior citizens have nutritious meals made to cater to their tastes.
The Mon Sheong Foundation and the Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care have taken the first step to make our dream of care a reality. In 2000, the Mon Sheong Foundation was granted permission by the Ministry of Health to create long-term care beds within the Greater Toronto Area. The Foundation built two new long-term care centres with 192 beds in Richmond Hill and 160 beds in Scarborough, which is a dramatic addition to the original 105 beds in D’Arcy Home. Both Centres completed and in aggregate, Mon Sheong is providing 457 long-term care beds to meet the needs of seniors and physically challenged individuals in the region.
All these 3 state-of-the-art facilities provide quality care services for seniors, physically or mentally challenged, and individuals suffering from other dementia. With 7-day, 24-hour nursing services, the risks caused by delayed treatment can be restrained to a minimum. The management of these three Long-Term Care Centres will meet with resident families regularly to enhance communication about the conditions and needs of residents.
Today, the demand for elderly services among the Chinese population is rising. More than any other time in the history of Canadian healthcare, there is an urgent need today to provide for the elderly. There are currently approximately 3,000 elderly Chinese Canadians on our waiting lists for care. On average, people who urgently require our services must wait for two to five years to be admitted.