The first of 11 new long-term care facilities announced by the province in December 2007 opens today, May 27. Debert Court in Colchester County is the first long-term care facility in Nova Scotia built using the Department of Health’s new design standards which emphasize smaller, one-storey buildings with more home-like surroundings. “Our goal is to give Nova Scotians a comfortable place to live that they can call home,” said Keith Menzies, the Department of Health’s executive director of continuing care. Debert Court is part of the province’s Continuing Care Strategy that will create 1,600 new beds and replace 1,300 beds by 2015-16. Shannex, which was awarded nine of the 11 new long-term care facilities, will operate Debert Court. When full, the facility will be home to 36 people who require nursing home-level support. “With the opening of Debert Court, we are able to bring individuals who have been waiting in other facilities back to their home area where they will be closer to their family and friends”, said Jason Shannon, chief operating officer of Shannex. “The community has welcomed us warmly, and we are pleased that more than 45 individuals from Debert and surrounding areas have decided to join the Shannex team, and are now employed at Debert Court.” Debert Court has three interior households. Each household has a kitchen, living room and dining room plus 12 private suites. Each suite has a wheelchair-accessible washroom. An outdoor garden can be accessed from the living room of each household so residents can enjoy outdoor activities. Residents have access to 24-hour nursing care, medical services, nutrition services, pharmacy services, occupational therapy, and physiotherapy. A variety of recreation programs and activities are available. Access to Debert Court is through the Department of Health’s Continuing Care Services at 1-800-225-7225.