Perley Health’s tradition of excellence in care stretches back more than a century. In 1897, the Perley Home for Incurables opened on a site now adjacent to Library and Archives Canada. Funded by heirs of William Goodhue Perley, an Ottawa lumber baron and Member of Parliament, the Home cared for persons in need of long-term shelter and treatment. After the Government of Canada expropriated the property in 1912, a new Perley Home was built on Aylmer Avenue in 1914, where it overlooked the Rideau Canal. By the 1950s, the Home had evolved into a 215-bed hospital specializing in physiotherapy and orthopedic rehabilitation.
To temporarily house and help rehabilitate service personnel injured in the Second World War, the Government of Canada built the Rideau Veterans Home in 1945. Over time, it evolved into a 139-bed home for the aged.
To cope with the changing needs of Seniors and Veterans, a new project began to take shape in the late 1980s. The project amalgamated the Perley Hospital, the Rideau Veterans Home and the Veterans Wing of the National Defence Medical Centre into a purpose-built 450-bed state-of-the-art facility. Construction began in 1994, financed by Veterans Affairs Canada (55%), Ontario Ministry of Health (30%), Regional Municipality of Ottawa Carleton (10%) and community donations (5%). The Perley and Rideau Veterans’ Health Centre welcomed its first residents in 1995; two years later, Ontario’s the Ministry of Health designated it a long-term care home. The community has donated more than $40 million to the Perley Health Foundation, incorporated as a Registered Charity, for the care of Seniors and Veterans.
In recent years, the pace of innovation at Perley Health has increased significantly thanks to broad stakeholder and community support, and effective partnerships.
- 2007: The 12-bed Guest House opens to provide respite care to people affected by early- to mid-stage dementia.
- 2013: Three levels of government and $5 million in community donations fund the construction of 139 independent-living apartments — the Seniors Village.
- 2015: A partnership establishes a physiotherapy and massage clinic, the first in a series of clinics offering therapeutic services to residents and visitors.
- 2017: The 20-bed Specialized Behavioural Support Unit (SBSU) opens to care for seniors with dementia whose behaviour may jeopardize their safety and the safety of staff and fellow residents. The SBSU fills a critical gap in the region’s healthcare system.
- 2017: To provide hands-on learning opportunities to students enrolled in Algonquin College’s Personal Support Worker program, a living classroom is established adjacent to one of Perley Health’s long-term care units.
- 2018: Following a comprehensive review of Perley Health’s operations and care programs, Accreditation Canada awards its top designation – Exemplary Status.
- 2019 Canada’s first Centre of Excellence in Frailty-Informed Care opens to advance the care of seniors living with frailty through applied, practical research and knowledge transfer. Two years later, Commissionaires Ottawa -- Canada’s largest employer of former Canadian Forces personnel -- provides $2 million in funding to establish the first Chair in Frailty-Informed Care.
Today, Perley Health continues to transform care for Seniors and Veterans and is a leading advocate for improving the care and well-being of Canada’s aging population. From the person-centred and frailty-informed care we provide within our walls to the imperative research we conduct to inform the greater community – everything we do ensures Seniors and Veterans can enjoy their best quality of life, at any stage of the aging process.