Ousting in winter months with inadequate notice
Private Care Homes (PCH) as the words imply are homes that provide care. It should be a simple matter, and yet in Regina, PCH’s are closing left and right under suspicious circumstances.
PCH’s, such as those owned by Orange Tree Living, have closed abruptly and without regard for its residents’ wellbeing. Orange Tree Living manages the operations of three PCH’s in Regina: Precious Memories Villa, Parkview Villa, and Princess Villa. CBC News reported that in early October, “residents of senior care homes at Precious Memories and the nearby Parkview Villa were alerted via an email from Orange Tree Living, the private company that owns the homes, that they would be closing on Nov. 2.”
The reason for the shutdown is still unclear. However, some sources say it is due to unresolved financial reasons, while others say that it is due to a complaint regarding client care. Either way, PCH’s are supposed to provide quality care for loved ones, and they are not doing that.
There are many care homes and assisted living facilities in Regina. Yellow Pages brings up over 80 results when “care homes or assisted living facilities” is searched. With the abundance of these care homes in Regina, it is clear that there is a population in Regina that requires the services of these facilities.
The Ministry of Health is responsible for the licensing and overseeing the operations of PCH’s across the province. Tim McLeod, the Minister of Mental Health and Addictions, and Seniors and Rural and Remote Health, spoke to the Saskatchewan Legislature in Regina on October 25, 2023. McLeod said that there are around 71 PCH’s in Regina.
There are multiple classifications of PCH’s, with each catering to a different need level of its residents. However, they all provide care to people who are dependent, in some way, on others to meet their needs.
The out-of-the-blue, illegal shutdown of these necessary services has left residents and their families scrambling. According to a statement given by the Ministry of Health, a private care home is required to give residents a 30-day notice of shutdown and assist residents with relocation.
Because of this, social assistance and services are normally unnecessary for residents changing homes. The closure of the Orange Tree Living PCH’s, however, had notice as short as 72-hours.
The Precious Memories Villa provided “meal preparation, hygiene, cleaning, and supervision,” as stated on the Orange Tree Living website. The evicted residents considered their care homes their home. With the eviction, they are now left without secure housing.
The social services available to retired people are limited. Evelyn Harper, a retired elderly woman recently evicted from Cedar Woods Manor, another recent PCH closure in Regina, tried to contact social services for support. The government representative she got a hold of could only offer monetary support, to which Harper would not be eligible for until her month’s pension was used up.
The lack of social support for these situations is alarming. The assistance that can be offered is limited to monetary funds, and this is not a solution when a person is evicted and left houseless for an undetermined length of time.
Jeanette Kaytor, whose mother was recently evicted from Precious Memories Villa, spoke to reporters at the Saskatchewan Legislature on the issue. She said, “My mother had just gotten out of the hospital two weeks earlier. She was just starting to recover and get better, […] And then boom, we have to find another care home.”
The PCH options available to the evicted residents are expensive, and not a sustainable option for many of the families needing one.
This can be an opportunity for the community to come together to formulate a plan to address this problem. Together, the community and the government can find a way to fulfil the expectations of a care home: providing safe, quality care.