SPEAKING OUT- Protestors gathered outside the 5010 Building on 43 St. Wednesday to show their support for Valley Park Manor to remain open.

Fight for Valley Park Manor continues

Rally held to save long-term care facility

Members of the Alberta Union of Provincial Employees, the Central Alberta Council on Aging and Friends of Medicare rallied at the 5010 Building Wednesday in efforts to keep Valley Park Manor open.

Guy Smith, president of AUPE, said closing Valley Park Manor, a City long-term care facility, doesn’t make sense in light of worries over reported stress on the health system in general.

“Much of the stress on our emergency wards comes from seniors waiting in acute care beds, for transfer to long-term care beds,” said Smith.

“The decision to start closing beds is confusing. It adds to the crisis and leaves our seniors suffering.”

Residents of Valley Park Manor and the Red Deer Nursing Home have recently been moved to the newly-opened Michener Extendicare.

“Red Deer Nursing Home is empty, but it’s not too late to save Valley Park Manor,” said Smith. “We have the people of Red Deer on our side. It’s time the government came around and respected their desire to see long-term care beds stay open in the community.”

This past June, about 200 people took part in a rally at Valley Park Manor and another was held at Red Deer Nursing Home prior to that.

Another rally was held at City Hall Park this past summer as well.

Meanwhile, the province hasn’t specifically said what lies in store for either facility.

David Eggen, executive director for the Friends of Medicare, asked how closing Valley Park Manor makes for a healthier community.

He said the lack of space for those needing long-term care is a pressing problem and closing the facility will only add to the pressures.

“We know that we need those beds (in Valley Park Manor), and that we could fill them tomorrow.”

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