Outcry from families, CUPE and the NDP over closure of Lutheran Care Home

Last month Eden Community Care Homes announced closure of the Regina Lutheran Home. Now 62 residents and more than 100 staff members have an uncertain future.

Both Val Schalme’s father and brother are at the home and the closure has her concerned.

“My father has dementia. As do many of the residents there. Change like this is just so so difficult on anyone with dementia. Routine is vital. This could cause mental health issues with the seniors who have to be moved.”

Val’s brother share an important connection with her father – both are in the home together across the hall from one another. A deep worry of the families is that the pair will be split up – which would have extremely negative effect on both of them says Val.

The closure will place 62 people into other facilities around the city – lengthening the wait list and forcing patients who are in need of long term care into hospital beds.

Schalme says the – closure of this home impacts the healthcare system in a dire way, “our hospitals have people in them that are only there because there are no long term care beds available. Those people will be now taking up a hospital bed for god knows how much longer.

Families of seniors at the home, alongside the union representing workers at the center and the NDP are calling on the Saskatchewan Health Authority to take over operation of the home.

“The closure of Regina Lutheran Home is yet another example of how this government is failing seniors. Their lack of planning on this file is absurd,” said Bashir Jalloh, president of CUPE 5430. There is a low vacancy rate for long term care spaces in Regina. This closure will cause ripple effects throughout the Regina area. Wait lists that are already too long will grow longer, not to mention that over 100 staff will be impacted.”

Darlene Gilewich, first Regional Vice-President of CUPE 5430 Region 3 has worked at the Regina Lutheran Home for almost 40 years.

“We are losing one of the most sought-after care homes in the city. Regina Lutheran Home has always been a small, family orientated community. Our staff are dedicated and make this place a wonderful home for our residents. My heart breaks for all the families that will be impacted by this short-sighted decision. Moving residents at this stage of life and changing routines is very stressful and often results in poor health outcomes,” said Gilewich.

The Saskatchewan Health Authority says they have no plans of continuing the operation of the home after Eden Community Care ends their term. In a statement to CKRM The SHA says the decision to close the home is based on the fact that the building is at the end of it’s lifespan and may require significant repair work in the future.

No clear plan for the seniors has been communicated to families – but the SHA says they are committed to working together to minimize impact and support a phased transition plan.

Val Schalme and other families from the center are feeling left out in the dark – stating that calls to the SHA thus far have not been returned.

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