'It's just not fair': 21 residents of Grenfell Pioneer Home face temporary relocation
Saskatchewan Health Authority says mould problem can't be fixed without the move
Lloyd Gwilliam is worried about his 86-year-old mother, Shirley.
"She's going to be evicted," he said.
Gwilliam's mother is among 21 residents of the Grenfell Pioneer Home who will have to be moved to another home in Wolseley within three weeks due to a mould issue at Grenfell.
"She's declined in recent weeks," said the former Grenfell mayor who now lives in Winnipeg. "Moving my mother from there is going to take time off her life. It's just not fair. It's sad, actually."
The home isn't exactly closing, and the vice president of Integrated Rural Health Services in the province stresses that the relocation of the 21 residents is temporary.
"We recognize it's difficult to move from your home, particularly if you have to move to another community," said Karen Earnshaw.
"There's also a personal care home located in Grenfell, and there are openings in the personal care home, so we committed to families we'd look to see if there are any residents who could be accommodated," Earnshaw said.
The health authority has not yet determined whether the mould issue can be fixed, or whether a new building is needed.
People have given half their farm to donations and been buried in the Grenfell cemetery and never saw a new home.- Lloyd Gwilliam
The ultimate decision is up to the Ministry of Health.
"They have committed publicly to this community that there would be some option of long-term care in the community," Earnshaw said.
Second relocation in 2 years
In August 2016, eight residents were relocated from the Grenfell home when nine of its rooms had to be closed due to safety concerns.
The residents were moved to Broadview, about 27 kilometres away, and Wolseley, which is 26 kilometres away.
While Earnshaw recognizes the inconvenience to residents, she says the health authority is unable to determine how much mould is present in the home without clearing out the building.
"We can't keep our residents there while that work is done," she said.
Gwilliam feels he has been through this before. He says various people in town had been fundraising for 40 years for the home to replace the aging wings: "And it's come to this."
"People have given half their farm to donations and been buried in the Grenfell cemetery and never saw a new home."