This letter is from a very concerned son of Alvina Pitzel of St. Mary’s Villa, Humboldt,
By now, if you have listened or watched the news, you have heard about the 10 residents that have been evicted from the seniors supervised care wing of St. Mary’s Villa in Humboldt, Saskatchewan. You may be aware that my mother, Alvina Pitzel, is one of these residents. You are probably quite aware of the circumstances and method by which these residents were evicted.
Questions that I have for the Sasktoon Health Region (SHR):
1). Why did the SHR not advise patients and staff that there were problems with some of the floor joists in the Dust Wing in December or January when they stopped admitting people to the unit? Is it not due diligence to notify those involved of a concern as it arises?
2). Why did the SHR, at a moment’s notice, decide that all must be done now, quickly, without any thought? They told the residents of their plans on Wednesday and wanted have them all moved out by the following Tuesday? As far as I know no tenders have gone out for the renovation at this time.
3). Why did the SHR, once they knew there was a structural problem with the Dust Wing, did they not post the Engineer’s Report online so everyone could see it. At the Thursday meeting, they were asked to show the report and they said it was not available. So, on who’s advice are the residents being removed?? The Saskatoon Health Board, as all of the Health Boards, are extensions of the Saskatchewan Department of Health and receives the lions share of its funding from the Saskatchewan people. Should they not be forthwith and provide the information to all the people of the province who have paid for these reports?
4). If the safety of residents and staff was not a concern Thursday, then why did it suddenly become a great concern Friday morning? If this concern was present in January, should not everyone have been advised at that time?
5). How can the SHR evict long-term senior residents ranging in age from the mid-eighties to mid-nineties on such short notice, not expecting to cause severe stress not only to the concerned families, but to the residents themselves?
Through this process we have learned that Saskatchewan seniors have very few rights. There is no process of appeal, no ombudsman that can look after the concerns of our seniors. The rest of us have ombudsmen that look after the rights of renters and even the mentally handicapped, but not seniors.
In conclusion, I realize that this is a done deal, the residents will move, the building will be renovated or torn down and rebuilt. I am not sure that they know which at this time. I hope that in the future our seniors will not be treated in such an inhumane manner. We have no problem with the much-needed renovations. The building has been run-down for a number of years and the patchwork repairs are not the answer.
Our concern is with the way the SHR handled the information by keeping it secret and how they sprung it upon the seniors at the last minute. This clearly demonstrates that the SHR is floundering around in the dark. It is almost like when someone strikes a match, well, now I see the light and react to the light quickly before the match burns out and before they get another bright idea. We do not need people with this kind of vision running our healthcare system with their knee-jerk reactions! This is comparable to the rounding up of people during the Second World War and just shipping them off without any regard for their future. I would fight against this happening in our great Province of Saskatchewan. It should stop here!!
We need people that have a long-term vision for the health of Saskatchewan’s people, people who know how to plan and deal with a situation in an orderly manner.
Please remember the people in our Saskatchewan nursing homes are our grandmas and grandpas, mothers and fathers, brothers and sisters, uncles and aunts. These are our families! This is my mom! I am wondering if any of the members of SHR would be happy if their relatives were treated with the same manner. I am wondering if we are not able to find a new home that is suitable for Mom, if they would let her move into one of their homes? I know that I would not like to be treated in this manner!