Long overdue

One of the most heart-wrenching decisions any family faces is when an elderly loved one no longer can live in their own home, whether due to advanced age, health problems, or the fact younger family members don’t live nearby to help out with the daily household chores, to run errands, or simply check up on them to ensure they are eating properly and taking any prescribed medications.
It’s especially trying when the loved one may be unable to live on their own safely, but don’t yet require the 24-hour care provided by places like Rainycrest.
The need for assisted living spaces in Fort Frances—to serve as that bridge between home and a long-term care facility—certainly isn’t a new issue. What is new, however, is the formation of The Assisted Living Action Group, a subcommittee of the local Seniors and Law Enforcement Together coalition, which aims to get beyond the talk and actually build units here.
With the population of Fort Frances continuing to age, clearly time isn’t on our side. The action group knows assisted living spaces won’t happen overnight, but at least it is taking the bull by the horns in asking pointed questions to address the issue head-on and examine possible options.
Ideally, of course, private enterprise would seize the opportunity to provide the needed service, perhaps by refurbishing an existing large home into several living areas or even converting a motel, which have been done in countless other communities across Canada. Having entrepreneurs make money, while hopefully creating private-sector jobs in the process, is far better than adding to the drain on our already cash-strapped public coffers.
Short of that, should it be a combination of private and public money, where residents open their wallets—as they did for the Townshend Theatre, Ice For Kids Arena, and new Fort Frances Public Library Technology Centre (not to mention hospital renovations)—to construct an assisted living complex here?
Solving the need for assisted living won’t be easy, but is long overdue.