senior care

Senior Citizens forced from Care Home to live in High School

I hate sharing sad news like this, but to lighten the mood a little – when I first read the title published on this story, “Seniors forced to live in Manitoba high school,” my brain registered 18-year-old high school seniors, not senior citizens.  It’s funny how something like adding the word “citizens” to a title can make all the difference in the world.

Now the sad news – due to a collapsing roof, 28 senior citizens are now living in a high school without proper care.  I feel strongly about providing proper care to seniors, so this just makes me sick to my stomach.  Seniors made our world what it is today from what it was when they were young men and women, and this is the best they could be provided with in a system with government medicine?  I would be so outraged if that happened here, I can’t even say what I would do, but I would find someone to chew-out and help get these folks into a proper facility. 

geriatric care for senior citizens in a high school
Seniors living in a school - image from CBC

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From CBC News:

A Manitoba doctor is raising questions about why more isn’t being done to help 28 seniors forced out of their care home and into a high school in a remote First Nations community.

The seniors were moved from their care facility in Oxford House early Wednesday after part of the ceiling collapsed. There were fears the entire roof could cave in.

Residents of the home are now living in makeshift quarters at a nearby high school, which has drawn the ire of a community doctor who says they need constant care in a proper facility.

The high school has no bathing tubs or areas to cook meals, let alone care for vulnerable people at risk of infection, bed sores and pneumonia, said Dr. Walter Hoeppner.

“This is 2011 – we can’t do better than that?” he asked, referring to the situation as “very frustrating.”

“These are elders who built the community,” Hoeppner said.

The contractor who built the area of the home where the ceiling collapsed said he may be able to fix the damage in a month’s time.

Hoeppner said he made arrangements to move 17 people to care homes in other communities, but Health Canada refused to airlift them out of Oxford House — a fly-in community about 500 kilometres north of Winnipeg — because they weren’t sick enough.

“I thought they were joking when they said they weren’t helping,” Hoeppner said.

Health Canada said it is working on a plan with the Department of Indian and Northern Affairs and Manitoba’s Burntwood Health Authority to have the seniors moved.

Neither agency could say when that might happen.

With image files from the CBC’s Sheila North-Wilson

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