Regina Lutheran Home Residents Face Forced Relocation Amid Eden Care’s Shift from Long-Term Care

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The landscape of Regina Lutheran Home (RLH) is awash with apprehension following the decree by local authorities. Residents of this long-term care facility received news that they would be relocated in the upcoming spring.

One of the impacted families, spearheaded by Val Schalme, who has a number of kin in the home, were struck unprepared by the announcement. All of a sudden, they learnt of the imminent move through an email from Eden Care, without any prior discussion or warning from the Saskatchewan Health Authority (SHA). The family received information about the relocation only when the official email communicated that the RLH residents would be moved next April in a phased manner.

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The SHA clarified that it is not planning to take over the property and will assist the residents in their transition to suitable long-term care homes as vacancies appear. The focus now is on working closely with the residents and their families to discuss their options and help them relocate within Regina over the next few months.

Regina Lutheran Home has been under the management of Eden Care Communities. The non-profit organisation decided to transition away from long-term care, following critical post-pandemic business considerations. “We decided to shift our emphasis from long-term care to more affordable and low-income housing,” explains Bill Pratt, CEO of Eden Care Communities. The care of the 62 residents, however, will remain under Eden Care until the SHA takes over operations in April of 2024.

Val Schalme expressed concern about the real victims in this situation – the residents. According to her, these are individuals who have been dutiful taxpayers and are now being forced into accommodation that may not resonate as ‘home’. She fiercely rejects what she perceives as a callous approach towards treating our elders.

Both her father and brother are residents in the facility, and the family ensures they visit them every day. “Their bond is unbreakable because they’re separated from the rest of the family,” she says of the pair who live across the hall from each other. The move could mean they end up in separate facilities, something she anticipates will be heartrending for both of them

The predicament has led the family to petition the health minister for a reevaluation of the decision in the interest of the others who will also bear the brunt of this move. The closure of RLH means the loss of 62 long-term care beds, lengthening the waiting period for many who require them.

Like Schalme’s family, the other resident families find themselves hanging in uncertainty. The daunting prospect of where they will end up and how they will adapt to the transition is merely being postponed to the next spring.

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