Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Let the people vote on senior care

I attended the county commissioners’ meeting on Feb. 12 about senior care. At that meeting, the commissioners voted 2-1 to transfer the skilled nursing care license for Blaine Manor over to the private company Safe Haven, effective as soon as this coming October. This is a decision by two of the county commissioners with no further opportunity for the residents of Blaine County to decide for themselves the future of skilled nursing in the county.

Three years ago, I voted in favor of a levy to support the continued operation of Blaine Manor. I did so for two main reasons: one, I believe that we need to have quality skilled nursing care available in the county, and, two, because Blaine Manor has demonstrated over many years the ability to provide not adequate care, but excellent care. By giving away this valuable license and county resource, it severely diminishes the opportunity for a long-term solution of a blending of the quality skilled nursing provided by Blaine Manor into a three-tiered nonprofit senior living community. Until a viable, preferably nonprofit, option for skilled nursing care can be realized, I would again vote in favor of a levy to support Blaine Manor.

The opportunity to make this decision has been denied to all of us. I truly believe that the future of Blaine Manor, senior care and skilled nursing should not rest solely in the hands of two county commissioners. I appreciate and thank Commissioner Angenie McCleary for advocating for a public vote on such an important community issue.

Jack Sept


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