The recent handling of St. Mary’s Villa carbon monoxide and flooring problems is straight out of Monte Python — laughable if not so deadly and heart-wrenching.
It is ironic Alice Ramsay is now the poster-girl for how not to treat old folks. Alice was once the manager of the Villa and served many years in retirement as a volunteer at the Villa.“No good deed ever goes unpunished” still seems an apt saying.
This is more than a local problem. It is a provincial and national problem.
The special care homes built in the 1950s, 1960s and 1970s were mainly filled with people needing assisted living. As people live longer with better medical care, hospital beds are plugged with patients who do not need a hospital bed. Nursing homes are full. As hospitals move heavy care to nursing homes, there are fewer beds for assisted living. In St. Mary’s case, a flooring problem leads to assisted living patients being suddenly chucked out the door.
Unfortunately the same factors that caused nursing homes to be built then are still in play now.
Just as working-poor cannot afford housing, they cannot afford assisted living, at least not the Caleb quality.
People with money can choose assisted living if they “need” it or not. Ordinary people stand in line for a dwindling resource.
Whether governments at all levels think they should get involved or cannot afford this remains to be seen.
A few valiant institutions such as Bethany Pioneer Village in Middle Lake struggle to provide assisted living at a cost below what AOP and Supplementary allowance provides retired people. This part of their operation is not assisted by government money.