Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Itís our turn to spend on seniors

My goodness, what has caused the sudden change in this valley's proposal for a skilled-nursing facility? A few short months ago, we were embracing a nicely located, locally operated facility to meet our needs. Suddenly we no longer seem to care about what level of facility we open.

How can the Blaine County commissioners all be on the same page that we don't want to spend any taxpayer dollars to help fund a proper facility that can hopefully guarantee safe, compassionate care? And when asked if they can guarantee proper care in this newly proposed facility, Bellevue P&Z calmly states that's not their problem; all they need to do is approve the facility, and if we have concerns we need to take them up with our City Council. I think our City Council needs to think about the fact that these are people, not beds needing to be filled and taxes needing to be collected.

This Safe Haven idea sounds dreadful. A story published earlier this year in the Mountain Express reported on three court cases involving the owner that were settled; the owner was accused of sexual harassment by a subordinate, a wrongful death occurred due to overmedicating a patient and a suit was filed by a patient's guardian because she had allegedly been sexually assaulted by another resident. This is all on record, and no one seems to care. Who are we inviting into our valley? Are there no standards that need to be met for our respected elder residents?

I, for one, think it is worth spending some taxpayer dollars to bring a better care facility to our valley for our elders. Those same elders have always embraced supporting the youth of our valley with school bonds and rodeo grounds, bike paths and so on. It's time for us to return the favor.

Cherry Thornton


Editor's note: Neither owner Scott Burpee nor Safe Haven has been convicted of any criminal wrongdoing while providing senior care in Idaho.

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