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Regina Pioneer Village not the only long-term care facility on life support

Click to play video: 'Regina Pioneer Village not the only long-term care facility needing repairs'
Regina Pioneer Village not the only long-term care facility needing repairs
Regina Pioneer Village has had issues for years, but it's not the only long-term care home in Saskatchewan on life support – May 18, 2018

For years, Regina Pioneer Village has been plagued with ongoing infrastructure issues including weakening brickwork, ageing plumbing and electrical systems, not to mention asbestos and now mould.

“Based on the impact, what we are looking at is moving approximately 94 residents from their current spaces,” executive director of ongoing care, Debbie Sinnett said.

18 months ago, mould was identified in 50 spaces within the facility and according to a recent report from April 2018, that number has now tripled and it could take up to a year before residents are allowed to move back in.

“[The mould is mostly] around windows, resident rooms and in the common areas like the dining rooms, which is fairly common in older buildings like this where we have that weakening exterior infrastructure,” Sinnett said.
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A provincial report in 2014 indicated the facility needed around $60 million worth of repairs, but over the past four years, just over $8 million has been invested.

If you break those numbers down, in 2017-18, $500,000 was allocated to Pioneer Village, $2.6 million in 2016-17, $2.7 million in 2015-16 and $2.4 million in 2014-15, and this year, around $500,000 will be allocated.

“We are aware that this facility is coming to the end of its useful life and determinations need to be made about what to invest in where,” executive director of strategy and innovation branch, Pauline Rousseau said.

But with no concrete plan for the buildings, future and an ageing seniors population, the band-aid type solutions will continue.

Last year, 38 beds and 22 jobs were lost at the facility due to repairs, and in February of this year, just days after a “do not consume water advisory,” Regina Pioneer Village faced damage and repairs due to a water line break.

According to the same report in 2014, there are more than 130 long-term care facilities in the province, of that, more than 100 are classified as in poor or critical condition.

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“[The] average age for our facilities, acute and long-term is about 40 years and that brings with it the need for maintenance investment and regular replacement, which the government has committed to,” Rousseau said.

Since 2009, Rousseau said 12 new long-term care facilities have been built in the province, but until there’s money for a more permanent solution, the future of Pioneer Village is unknown.

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