I have lived in Fort Frances for more than 55 years and have lived at Rainycrest LTC Home for the last six-and-a-half years.
When I arrived, I was gravely ill and would not be alive today if not for the caring staff at Rainycrest. For that, I am very grateful.
Everyone know that Riverside has problems with Rainycrest currently but I am not sure that the public knows what it is like to actually live here. Life is not great within our walls. I have noticed the decline in services, especially in the last two years.
Our physiotherapy department is delivered by Skype and supervised by “aides,” not trained professionals who properly can assist or assess results.
There is a brand new dishwasher sitting in a corner of Hallett Hall for more than a year and it is still not in use. Until today, we have been eating off of disposable dinner ware for almost two weeks while the old dishwasher was repaired again.
When I moved in here, there was a craft room. It's gone. There was a computer room with internet. It's gone.
We were promised access to wi-fi (like at La Verendrye Hospital) but it hasn't happened yet, except for a few Tbaytel's hot spots—and I can't move my computer to them.
At times, the only heat in my room is from the small electric heater in the bathroom.
There was a large, comfortable, sunny, and open Activation Room. Now it's two-thirds blocked off for training/teaching. Why can't they use the empty rooms instead?
There once were more activities for residents. Now we can't count on clergy to attend our services on Sundays. Other activities, when planned, often are cancelled or just don't happen.
Few activities are of interest to men. Embroidery & Tea, sewing, colouring, baking, “Satin Hands," "Trim & Shine," and French Press Coffee. And what are ”friendly or individual visits? We have sing-a-longs, but to the same old songs over and over again.
There are fewer Activation staff on weekends but long weekends and holidays are the worst. There are no staff; there is nothing to do. Activation is closed.
Surely, with one-third of the beds empty, they should have enough staff to properly care for the residents still here!
And finally, not to blame only the home but to those out there in the public. How about a little less “paying if forward" and do a little more "paying back.”
During our elections, we were given no information from the candidates. That's for the federal, provincial, and our recent civic elections. The Town of Fort Frances sent people to teach us how and help us vote but we knew little about the who, what, why, and how from the candidates. Not even pamphlets or flyers.
Fort Frances is full of talented people, young and old. Can you do like the Choraliers and have a dress rehearsal here in Hallett Hall. Not the whole show but a few numbers.
You won't have a more appreciative audience anywhere!
Students: bring your speeches and science fair projects, or come learn some history from the source.
I have taken up enough of your space. I only can hope this is read and thought about. Many of us here have little family nearby; we'd like to be remembered as part of a larger community—the one we helped build.
Joseph A. Gervais
Fort Frances, Ont.