Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Emo assisted living group ID’s four sites

The Emo Assisted Living group has identified four locations within the township that could be possible sites to build an assisted living facility.
They, along with the Assisted Living Action Group, now are seeking information from the public about what location they feel is best and what they’d like to see in such a facility.

“We are lucky to have four different locations in a relative small area, all accessible to the amenities of Emo,” Darryl Galusha, director of senior services and administration at Rainycrest Long-Term Care in Fort Frances, told those on hand for a public meeting at the Golden Age Manor in Emo back on June 26.
“All areas are going to have pros and all areas are going to have cons,” he noted.
“When you are making decisions, you need to weigh those out.”
“I’m just interested in seeing a facility built in the community to take care of our people,” said Ted Kaemingh, who identified the four sites as:
a). in the Meadowlands subdivision;
b). in the Echo Lakes Estates Ltd. subdivision;
c). behind the police station; and
d). behind the Emo Inn
“If anyone is interested in seeing this facility built, and would think they might use it or their family, take a look at this map and the properties and get your gut feeling where you want to be,” Kaemingh advised.
“We’re wide-open for discussion,” he stressed. “All four properties will pass depending on the cost.”
“We have these four pieces of property in the Emo area that have been open for building and development,” Galusha noted.
“We’re looking at bringing an architect in.
“It’s very progressive,” Galusha added. “This is the most progressive community I’ve ever worked in.
“People ask what can we do to get this done. They want what’s best for the community.”
Galusha stressed people don’t want to have to leave Rainy River District to receive assisted living care.
“No one wants to go so this is our opportunity to take the bull by the horns and just say we’re going to build something,” he remarked.
“We want to create something that we want.”
Galusha said long-term care is really not an option for everyone.
“Only three percent of the population end up in long-term care,” he noted. “And the average age of people going into long-term care is 88 years old.
“It seems that’s what people do but a very small minority.
“This is the biggest thing [we can do] to keep people independent, keep people in their own homes, keep people doing what they are doing, with a little bit of nursing care,” Galusha added.
He also said there’s an opportunity to build a facility with an Alzheimer’s component.
“We can build facilities where people are allowed to do what they want to do, within reason, and remain safe and in their own homes,” Galusha explained.
So he asked people at the meeting what they wanted to see in an assisted living facility.
They discussed if people would be looking for one- or two-bedroom units and if they’d want to rent or own.
They also talked about whether they’d like a cafeteria or to be able to do their own cooking.
Many of the seniors said they’d like indoor parking and to be within a 10- to 15-minute walk from services in Emo, such as the clinic.
They also want to have access to exercise, physiotherapy, an indoor walking track, and even a small pool, as well as to have common areas, courtyards, and gardens.
And they’d like it to be accessible with elevators, walk-in showers, and high toilets.
“Walking paths are a huge component of what we are looking for, right?” Galusha asked.
“To not be isolated—to have that ability to still be part of the community.”
Galusha indicated the Township of Emo already is exploring the idea of constructing a walking path in front of the Emo Inn, to the sportsfield, and back into the village.
Meanwhile, Erma Armit, chair of Assisted Living Action Group in Fort Frances, noted they are continuing to collect information from across the district to get a solid idea of what people want.
“We’ve been working very, very hard for four years,” she noted.
“Doing strategic plans, gathering information from the communities one stage at a time.”
In fact, A.L.A.G. did presentations in the district a year ago, asking people to complete a survey.
Given just a little over a month, they had 192 respondents.
“That’s fantastic,” Armit enthused, noting Emo did an exceptionally good job of providing information.
Armit said one of the questions asked when people thought they’d want—or need—to move into an assisted living facility.
“There were 54 respondents who said they wanted it within the next five years,” she remarked.
“That’s a pretty significant number.”
Another question asked if an assisted living facility was not built in your home community, and you were unable to care for yourself in your present home, where would you move?
“Eighty respondents said they want to stay in the Rainy River District, 37 said they would go outside the district, and 56 selected long-term care,” Armit read.
“We’ve got long-term care here now so what’s the need going to be 10, 15, 20 years from now?
“We want to look at the next 20-30 years because we’ve got all these ‘baby-boomers’ coming of age as seniors,” she added.
Armit thanked those who had completed the survey, but noted the group saw some areas of the district that weren’t represented in the answers.
“And we’d like to hear from those areas, as well,” she stressed.
“So we’re going to do a phase two,” Armit said. “If you’ve done the questionnaire, you don’t have to do it again, but if you haven’t, you can complete it by the Aug. 23.”
It is available by contacting Armit at 274-8515 or via e-mail at earmit1@gmail.com
It also will be available at the Emo Fair in August.
“It’s really important to hear what everyone is thinking in the district,” Armit reiterated.
“We can’t please everyone because everyone wants different things but we’re going to do the best we can.”
She added those interested in seeing an assisted living facility built can help out in a variety of ways, such as calling people who do not have e-mail, monitoring the membership process, or participating in weekly core planning meetings.
“This is an opportunity for us to take care of each other,” agreed Galusha.
“This is the community taking care of the community,” he noted. “No is looking to make a profit off of this.
“This is just Emo, Fort Frances, the Rainy River District taking care of our own,” Galusha continued. “That’s something we really need to do and we really need to step up to the plate.
“We have an opportunity right now that doesn’t come along very often—we have a bunch of like-minded people trying to do something great,” he enthused.
“It’s going to be a little bit of a process but it’s going to happen a lot sooner than you think.”
A second meeting then was held at the Emo Legion that evening.

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