Local investors getting behind Cobblestone House

October 13, 2021, 1:49 pm
Kevin Weedmark

Bridge Road Construction started bringing equipment to the site of Cobblestone House recently, a 42-unit long-term care and assisted living facility to be built in Moosomin. The facility will include one floor of level one and two nursing care, one floor of level three and four nursing care, and one level of assisted living.

Local investors are getting behind Cobblestone House, a 42-unit long-term care and assisted living facility that will be built next to Pipestone Villas in Moosomin.

Local investment has been sought for the project, which will include one floor of assisted living, one floor of Level 1 and 2 long-term care, and one floor of Level 3 and 4 long-term care. Bridge Road Developments is handling the construction, Kohr Capital is handling the investment side of the project, and Care by Design is handling the care side.

At a meeting last week, several local investors committed to backing the project.

“We’re involved with the Pipestone Villas facilities and we’ve seen the benefit to the community,” says Wayne Beckett. “They’re great facilities, they’ve created some employment, it adds to the tax base for the town, it’s created a lot of nice living spaces for a lot of people. With the population aging, adding assisted living just makes sense.

“If you’re a community-minded person, these kind of projects matter. It’s another service for an aging facility that’s needed in a community like Moosomin. Not every community could support this kind of facility. The community needs to be progressive, it needs to be aggressive, it has to be in the right location, it needs to have the right amenities, and we’re very lucky to have that.

“It’s hugely important to have this in Moosomin. We’ve all had family members who have needed that level of care and they’ve had to move out of town, or maybe a couple moves to the city knowing they will need that level of care some day and there isn’t something here. And now they won’t have to. Whether it’s an individual or a couple, they can stay here and age in place. We’ve all known people who have moved away, and it’s extremely hard on families and on individuals.

“It’s a hugely needed facility. When I talk to the doctors and the pharmacists, they don’t think twice about how important this facility is, so that tells me this is needed.

“Besides the economic benefits to the community and the individuals who invest in it, I think it’s good for the community as a whole. It shows that the local people are investing, and that shows there is more to it than just the money. They talk about the social return on your investment as well as the financial return. That is as big a component as anything. If it was an outside corporation coming in and building it, it would be different than local people putting their money in. People are investing not just for a return on their money, but because it’s good for the community, and it’s good for the people who will be moving in.

“Looking at the people who are behind this project, I’m sure it’s not only a good investment financially, but it will be so good for the community. It will help take Moosomin to the next level, giving it so many of the services that you would get in a city. There are retirement facilities, our hospital, our health care facilities. If people know they can retire to Moosomin and age in place, it really gives them a reason to retire here. I think it’s time to move forward with this. We had a meeting this week and I said ‘We’ve had enough meetings. It’s time to write a cheque. People are either in or out.’ ”
Darcy Rambold is an investor in the project and agrees it is vital for the community.

“I’ve been saying for a few years now that assisted living is one of the biggest needs in Moosomin,” he said. “Right now we’re missing a level of care between people’s homes or apartments and the nursing home.

“This project is appealing to me for a lot of reasons. We had a meeting the other day and Heather (Haupstein of Care by Design) said she is working with existing home care services in town to extend the services even outside the facility. I think that’s important as well. There are people in Pipestone Villas who would benefit from meal services and home care services, and probably other people in the community. I think it will make a big difference.”

Rambold said he is interested in investing in this project for the same reason he invested in Pipestone Villas when it was being set up.

“When Pipestone Villas started 12 years ago I signed on as an investor right away,” he says. “I figured it would be good for the community, because people retire here largely because of the hospital and the doctor services we have, and I thought a facility like that will encourage people to retire in Moosomin. I think that was a good move. Pipestone Villas has been good for Moosomin, it’s encouraged people to retire here, and now adding this facility and adding assisted living will just extend that, and fill that gap between people living on their own and needing to be in the nursing home.”

He said the most important aspect of Cobblestone House is the gap it will fill in senior services in Moosomin.

“This venture does provide a return on the investment, and it’s a huge plus for us to have Heather (Haupstein) on board with her services. She brings a lot of experience and has set up lots of facilities. She has the resources behind her and the ability to make it happen. That’s a huge part of it.

“But the most important thing is what it will bring to the community. I think the whole community will benefit from this facility. It’s a big plus for the community, and it will benefit a lot of families.

“When local people’s health declines and they need a higher level of care, before they can access the facility in Moosomin, sometimes they have to go down the line to Whitewood or Broadview or Wolseley or Wawota because there isn’t the nursing home space in Moosomin. That’s pretty harsh for people at that stage of life. If people have been married for 60 years and all of a sudden they can’t live in the same community, it’s pretty hard on people.

“This will add another option so more people can stay in Moosomin, and because this is a privately run facility, couples can share the same room when one of them needs care. I think it will be a great addition to the town.”

“There are a number of reasons why it’s important,” says Tyler Thorn, another investor. “Number one, for people that are aging and have lived here all their lives, when the time comes for them to move into a place that offers some assistance, it’s not fair to them that they have to leave town.

“It’s hard on them, it’s hard on the families. That’s only going to get worse as the population ages.

“On any given day there are people in acute care in the hospital who are waiting for placement in long-term care facilities, and those facilities are full. I don’t think the province has the resources to add beds, so as we move into the future I think that need has to be filled by the private sector, with homes like this.

“I also think it will help bring people to town. I’m sure there will be people from the surrounding areas who will move in and call Moosomin home. They’ll be closer to their families here than if they had to go to Regina, for example.

“Certainly there are the economic spinoffs, the job creation, the traffic it will bring to town is good for the business community.”

He said he believes the local investment in the project is important to its success.

“I think it’s important for the long term,” he said. “The local investors will have influence on how it’s operated, they will have influence on whether or not the business is sold to a bigger corporation down the road or whether it will be owned and managed locally. I think that’s important to have that local input, to make sure the level of care is there. Having the local investors will ensure the level of care is there, and it’s not just about returns for the investors. Having the local investors will ensure that it’s about more than just money. That’s our friends and families who will be living there and we will want to ensure that they get a good quality of care.”

He said he decided to invest in the facility both as a financial investment and an investment in the future of his community.

“I think it’s a good investment, and I think it’s good for Moosomin. I’ve been 100 per cent on board with the need for it since day one. The future for those facilities is strong, the demand is just going to grow, so it’s going to be a good investment from that perspective, and this is something we have needed in Moosomin for a long time, so it’s good for the community from that perspective.”