Borough shouldn’t shirk nursing home responsibility

Posted: Wednesday, September 14, 2005

According to the Peninsula Clarion (Mayoral candidates discuss spending, taxes, 9/7/05), our mayoral candidates, when asked “... whether the borough should get into the nursing home business” all answered “no.”

What exactly is the “nursing home business” other than our community’s responsibility to care for our seniors who are unable to care for themselves? What exactly do our mayoral candidates suggest we do with our old folks? Find a company to do it for us? Pawn them off to the state? The Feds?

Banner Health Care, which owns Heritage Place at present, absorbed Lutheran Health Systems, the originators of Heritage Place Nursing Facility, and, because of ensuing corporate restructuring, no longer has a business interest in stand-alone, long-term nursing care in Alaska.

Banner has offered Heritage Place to Central Peninsula General Hospital at a very fair price in the belief that such a purchase, for a number of reasons, is in the community’s best interest.

For our mayoral candidates to say that the borough — and we citizens are the borough — should not get into the “nursing home business,” which is nothing other than the responsibility to care for our aged and helpless, is disheartening.

I suggest the mayoral candidates re-think their answers. Who then should care for our area residents needing nursing-home care if not us, if not the borough?

John Nelson


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