KAMSACK, Sask: Staff members at Eaglestone Lodge in Kamsack are devastated by the news the facility will close in 60 days.
The 32 staff, members of the Canadian Union of Public Employees, learned yesterday the board plans to close the personal care home in June for financial reasons. About 36 residents live in the care home and another three seniors live in the adjoining suites.
“We are going to talk to our MLA and pray for a miracle,” says a shaken Irene Hilton, who has worked as a cook at the facility for eight years. “I’m stressed because I have no job now. But I’m also really worried about my father-in-law and the other residents.”
Irene’s father-in-law just moved into the facility in February. Last week, the 87-year old turned down a long-term care bed at the hospital because he finally felt “settled” at the lodge.
“Why would you take people in when you’re closing it down?” Irene asks. “Many residents sold their homes to move into this facility, thinking it was secure. Now they are going to be scattered all over the place.”
Another CUPE member, Stacy George, recently left another job to work at Eaglestone. “I was told on Monday I had a permanent, full-time job and on Tuesday I’m told they’re closing. It’s devastating.”
She feels the board should have warned the community a year ago it was having problems. “They should have said: ‘We are in dire need. And if we don’t raise enough funds over the next year, we’re closing.’ Instead, they were accepting new residents as late as last week and only yesterday told us: ‘That’s it. That’s all. We’re closing.’”
Personal care aide Rose Hammell hopes the board will reconsider its decision, stating Kamsack needs a “home” for seniors.
“These people are here because they can’t manage on their own and they have no place else to go,” she says.
- 30 -
Contact: CUPE rep Alex Lenko at 536-6434, Stacy at 542-3058 or Rose at 542-2620.