"Rise in the presence of the aged, and show respect for the elderly."

Berwyn Autumn Lodge

Home > Abuse & Neglect Studies Group Homes > Berwyn Autumn Lodge

Berwyn Autumn Lodge


    We allege that with full knowledge, CAO Richard Walisser, provided a Directive to the
    Residents of the Berwyn Autumn Lodge on July 7, 2017, that they must vacate
    the Lodge, by September 30th, 2017.

    During the week of the 10th to 14th of July, 2017, seniors were taken by Foundation staff
    to look at other lodges / rooms.

    Residents have said that they were instructed that they must make
    a definite selection by July 24th 2017, as to where to relocate,
    lodge residents were to have permanently selected a room
    because of the insufficient space at other lodges.
    Evacuation date continued to be identified as September 30, 2017

    However, according to law, the Minister must be notified of such a Directive. There
    had been failure to notify the Minister of Seniors, Lori Sigurdson
    of the evacuation Directive. Therefore, the date for vacating was re-set for October 15, 2017.

    Legislation dictates that the North Peace Housing Foundation must give six months notice to
    the Minister’s Office, which appears to now have been honoured with the announcement of
    the April 30, 2018, deadline.

    However, despite the published 2018 evacuation date, Residents have reported
    that they been directed that they must select a room / a new home, by October 15, 2017
    or they will be on their own to find a room, will not be moved by Foundation, must move at their
    own cost, or, if they cannot find a room, move in with family or perhaps be homeless.


    The sudden death, as stated by the Administration of the North Peace Housing Foundation, as

    “Recently we did have a death at the Lodge”,

    was not a death at the Lodge. In fact it was a death at the Grande Prairie
    Hospital. A death which required first responders, police, ambulance and fire department
    to attend at the Berwyn Lodge to transport a resident of the lodge to Grande Prairie
    It was such, that caused one of the first responders to seek counselling following
    the event. A staff member had found the wounded man. Placed on life supports at the hospital,
    he succumbed.

    A physician had notified / warned a family member of another Resident that the Resident was
    severely suicidal.

    Following the sudden death, no one provided information to the troubled / frightened lodge residents,
    “Can’t talk about it”.

    However, in the following days, the distressing happening was acknowledged to residents
    and PACE was called on site to counsel lodge residents (PACE – Providing Assistance,
    Counselling, & Education –Grande Prairie).


    On Friday, July 7, 2017, elderly residents, some of them frail, were abruptly told that they were to
    vacate their home at the Autumn Lodge. No family had been called to be present for the announcement.

    Little more than two weeks later, July 24th, 2017, these elderly persons were expected
    to provide a definitive decision as to where they would relocate to.

    They were frightened, discomfited. It must be understood that the Directive issued on July 7, 2017
    intended for the Lodge to close this Friday, three days from now.

    We allege that the situation of these elderly pioneers is parallel to refugees,
    their homes are no longer available. We believe that they feel essentially homeless.

    One elderly resident was quoted as saying publicly: ‘I am disoriented, confused, overwhelmed,
    astounded scared and distraught”

    They must leave the familiarity of their homes, uproot their lives, take on a new address,
    start a new life in a new community, find a new doctor, perhaps move away from children from friends or
    support system, leave the comforting friendships which they made at the lodge or the community which
    they have known, perhaps for a lifetime.

    Don’t get old! 26/09/17