I am writing this from inside the walls of the Estevan Regional Nursing Home, where I am a resident.
While the care is excellent and the staff outstanding, I am sad to say it does not feel like a home, but an old institution. The nursing home building is an aging edifice that needs to be replaced with something that would be suitable for life in this century.
Let me tell you what daily life is like for those of us who live here. The toilet lacks dignity. It is situated in the middle of the room, blocked off with only a curtain from public view.
When I have family visiting in my small room, I must to ask them to leave so that I can use the washroom behind the curtain. I use a wheelchair, and I can’t wheel up tight in front of the sink because the closet walls are built out too close to the sink.
There is only one plug-in in my living space. How can I plug in my computer and my phone and my kindle? One outlet might have worked 50 years ago, but not today. It’s rather sad to live in this antiquated facility.
Only a year ago, I attended an event to celebrate donations to the Hearthstone Community Campaign to build a new nursing home in Estevan. At the time, I supported the project, like many other good citizens in this community. Now that I am a resident here, I request urgency on the matter of a new nursing home.
My wife and I have donated and we will give again. We received a tax receipt for the total amount of our donation. I believe our community should be at the $8 million mark of our share of the $40 million needed to build this new home. Right now, we’re close with $7.3 million. I encourage anyone who is waiting to give; the time is now.
Whatever can be done to expedite the construction of a new home, we must work diligently to make that happen. I urge the community, health region, and provincial government to move forward with plans to replace this obsolete structure. The need is urgent.
Again, I receive excellent care here. I couldn’t expect better care in any other place. But I urge you to act now. Once we have our funding, we can move forward with plans for the future.