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'Stuff them wherever they can': Regina family blasts plan to shuffle care home residents

The residents of Regina Lutheran Home (RLH) have been left with an uncertain future – as the province announced those living in the long term care facility will be moved next spring.

Val Schalme has several relatives in the home. She said her family was blindsided by the announcement.

“All the sudden on Monday, we got an email from Eden Care that the SHA would be moving the residents out of Regina Lutheran Home by April of next year. They’ll be moving them in stages. There was absolutely no consultation with the families by the SHA,” she told CTV News.

“We never heard anything from them at all, until Eden Care told us the residents would be moved out.”

The Saskatchewan Health Authority (SHA) said it’s not pursuing ownership of the property at this time – citing potentially “significant” repair work having to be done to the facility.

According to the SHA, the RLH facility is at the end of its lifespan.

Residents are set to be moved to other long term care facilities as appropriate spaces become available.

“We will work with residents and their families individually to consider their options and support appropriate placement within Regina over the next few months,” a statement from the SHA read.

The Regina Lutheran Home is currently operated by Eden Care Communities.

The Regina Lutheran Home is seen in this file photo. (AllisonBamford/CTV News)

The non-profit decided in April to move away from long term care as part of a post-pandemic business decision.

“We took a hard look at ourselves and … we made the decision to shift our focus off long term care and into more affordable housing and low income housing,” Bill Pratt, CEO of Eden Care Communities, told CTV News.

The organization will still care for the facility’s 62 residents until the SHA assumes responsibility in April of 2024.

“The level of care and support that they get is not changing,” Pratt added. “We know Regina Lutheran Home is always one of the top homes in the province and the care that the employees provide. So that’s not changing, that’s staying.”

As for the move’s effect on residents – Schalme was clear.

“The people in Regina Lutheran Home are losing their homes,” she said. “These people pay their taxes all these years and now our government is going to stuff them wherever they can. They’re warehousing our elders. They’re not providing them a home.”

Both Schalme’s father and brother live in the facility. The family makes sure to visit them every single day.

“We’re lucky enough that they live across the hall from each other,” she explained. “Because they’re away from the rest of the family, their bond is unbreakable. If they had to be separated in this move that would be devastating to them both. I know that.”

Schalme’s daughter wrote to the health minister asking for the decision to be reconsidered for the sake of others waiting for care beds.

“If they do not do that we are losing 62 long term care beds in Regina period,” she said. “Everybody is going to have to wait longer for a bed.”

For now, Schalme – and the rest of the residents’ families – are in limbo.

Waiting to see where they’ll end up and how they’ll adjust in the transition. Top Stories

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