Eden Care Communities announced its decision to close Regina Lutheran Home on Monday, September 25, 2023. The Saskatchewan Health Authority, SHA, has said they will not take over the facility, leaving 62 residents and over 100 staff reeling. Now the union representing staff at the facility is calling for the SHA to take over the facility.

“The closure of Regina Lutheran Home is yet another example of how this government is failing seniors. Their lack of planning on this file is absurd,” said Bashir Jalloh, president of CUPE 5430. There is a low vacancy rate for long term care spaces in Regina. This closure will cause ripple effects throughout the Regina area. Wait lists that are already too long will grow longer, not to mention that over 100 staff will be impacted.”

Darlene Gilewich, first regional vice-president of CUPE 5430 Region 3 has worked at the Regina Lutheran Home for almost 40 years.

“We are losing one of the most sought-after care homes in the city. Regina Lutheran Home has always been a small, family orientated community. Our staff are dedicated and make this place a wonderful home for our residents. My heart breaks for all the families that will be impacted by this short-sighted decision. Moving residents at this stage of life and changing routines is very stressful and often results in poor health outcomes,” said Gilewich.

The Conference Board of Canada conservatively estimates that Saskatchewan will require an additional 4,648 long-term care beds by 2035 in order to address changing demographics. Despite these trends, the number of long-term care beds in Saskatchewan has dropped from 9,240 in 2001 to 8,517 beds in 2018. Since then, even more beds have closed, including 180 beds at Regina Pioneer Village.

“We need our government to urgently invest in public long-term care. Many families can’t afford the high prices of private care homes, and COVID-19 made it clear that public care homes are safer and provide better quality of care,” added Jalloh.

Eden Care Communities has announced that all residents will be moved from Regina Lutheran Home by April 11, 2024. CUPE 5430 is calling for the SHA to step up and continue running Regina Lutheran Home.