Lakeridge Gardens opens new Behavioural Support Transition Unit to support people living with dementia, mental health, and other neurological illnesses

Posted on Wednesday September 27, 2023

AJAX, ON – Lakeridge Gardens – Lakeridge Health’s long-term care home – has opened its highly anticipated, 16-bed Behavioural Support Transition Unit (BSTU) to provide increased access to care and comprehensive support for people living with dementia, mental health, and other neurological illnesses.

“We are so proud to offer this service to our Durham Region communities,” said Lisa McVety, Administrator, Lakeridge Gardens. “This new BSTU will improve the quality of life for residents and their families. We recognize that demand for such services is high in our region and continues to increase. We’re so grateful for the support of our government partners to make this opening possible.”

Through a multi-disciplinary approach, the specialized behavioural support services of the BSTU will provide individuals and their families with the necessary tools, therapies, and de-escalation strategies to control responsive and reactive behaviours – actions, words or gestures presented by a person living with dementia, mental health, and other neurological illnesses as a response to something negative, frustrating, or confusing in their environment. Examples of these behaviours may include hitting, grabbing onto people, or pushing.

“The family is a key partner in the care of people living with responsive behaviours,” said Dr. Joel Kennedy, Chief and Medical Director, Lakeridge Gardens. “This new BSTU is great news for our community. In partnership with families, the specially trained staff enable individuals and residents to return home and to the community sooner, while avoiding unnecessary hospital visits.”

Access to the BSTU is via assessment by Home and Community Care Services and by specialized behavioural support staff at Lakeridge Gardens. Each potential resident of the unit must meet evidence-informed criteria established by Behavioural Supports Ontario. For more information, see the Behavioural Specialized Unit Patient Information Sheet available at



About Lakeridge Health
With five hospitals, four emergency departments, three critical care units, a long-term care home, a full range of medical and surgical specialties, more than 20 community health-care locations and a state-of-the-art surgical centre within the soon-to-open Jerry Coughlan Health & Wellness Centre, Lakeridge Health offers some of the broadest and most comprehensive acute care, ambulatory care, and long-term care services in Ontario.

Lakeridge Health is also home to several regional specialty centres and services, including the Central East Regional Cancer Program, R.S. McLaughlin Durham Regional Cancer Centre, The Shoulder Centre, and eye care and chronic kidney disease services. Additionally, we are proud to serve our community with a full suite of inpatient, ambulatory, and community-based mental health and addictions services, and provide safe, high-quality, compassionate care in our state-of-the-art long-term care home, Lakeridge Gardens.

Guided by our vision of One System. Best Health. and supported by a dedicated team of more than 8,700 staff, physicians, and volunteers, Lakeridge Health is a proud member of the Durham Ontario Health Team (Durham OHT) and works in collaboration with the Durham OHT, as well as primary care, and community and government partners to foster a truly integrated, regional system of care. Together, we are focused on empowering people to live their best health and fostering an accessible, inclusive, and equitable environment for all.

About Home and Community Care Support Services
Ontario’s 14 Home and Community Care Support Services organizations coordinate in-home and community-based care for over 400,000 patients every month. Our mission is to help everyone be healthier at home through connected, accessible, patient-centred care.

We assess patient care needs, and deliver home and community care, including community nursing clinics, and manage the long-term care home placement process. We also provide access and referrals to other community services. We collaborate with other health system partners - Ontario Health Teams, hospitals, primary care providers, long-term care and retirement homes, and others - to enable integrated patient care and enhanced system performance.

For information and referrals related to home and community care or to learn more about long-term care home placement services, please call 310-2222 (English) or 310-2272 (French), no area code is required.

For information contact:
Sharon Navarro
Manager, Public Relations and Digital Communications
Lakeridge Health

Dave Richie
Director, Communications
Home and Community Care Support Services Central East