Last month, representatives from the Lloydminster Concerned Citizens for Senior Care met with Saskatchewan health officials in Regina to discuss the long-term and senior care problem in the Lloydminster region.
Rod Sellers, director of LCCSC, said his main focus was the local issue of seniors’ housing. According to Sellers, there are at least two solutions that could help in resolving the issue.
One would be to repurpose the Dr. Cooke Extended Care building, which would just take some basic repairs and the other would be to add new beds to the Pioneer Lodge.
“Maintenance hasn’t been kept up on it, so there’s just some basic maintenance, painting and upkeep issues that need to be dealt with,” Sellers said of the Dr. Cooke building.
“To do it properly then of course some of the rooms should be redesigned and reconfigured to be single rooms instead of doubles, and that would take a bit more money. But the initial thing that needs to be done is some basic maintenance, painting and redecorating.”
Though it seems like a good idea, Sellers is unsure if and when the government would move forward with this solution. He said a bi-provincial study was given showing the details and urgency of situation involving extended care beds but how they’ll respond is hard to say.
As for the Pioneer Lodge, there was a proposal to convert 20 existing rooms to provide 40 new Level 3 beds. Level 3 beds could be considered “medium” care, while levels 4 and 5 could be called “extended care.”
“It would be very helpful, we need those Level 3 beds badly,” he said.
“It doesn’t change the need for the extended care Level 4 or 5 beds either, but you know, I think if the Pioneer Lodge deal could go together that would be a great help. It would certainly take some pressure off in the Level 3 area.”
Sellers has been working with the long-term and seniors’ care issue for around 10 years now and says part of the difficulty is lack of pressure put on politicians to act on these problems.
“I guess, unless you’ve actually got people directly affected by it in your family, you don’t recognize the desperate situation that we are in, you know, until you’ve actually got a family member in that situation.”
He said the meeting in Regina was well received and feels that they got their message across. A similar meeting with Alberta officials is also in the works and might be held in the near future.