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Eviction of Elderly

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North Peace Housing Foundation (NPHF)

Numbers of the residents at Berwyn Autumn Lodge are typical lodge residents.
They are frail, elderly and in fragile health. That is why they live in a lodge.

It must be understood that when older persons enter some form of senior’s housing
it is for the reason they are no longer able to manage well.
They have become somewhat frail, cannot manage the cooking, the laundry, are in
declining health, perhaps can no longer climb the stairs of their big old home,
When older persons leave their homes and move into senior’s homes, it is often with
reluctance, they are leaving their life time of accomplishments and work behind.

On the morning of July 7, 2017, in a meeting led by CAO Richard Walisser (NPHF) &
others, Berwyn Autumn Lodge residents were informed that they must vacate the lodge
(their home) by September 30, 2017, essentially an eviction order.

Understandably, they were in total shock by the announcement.

Residents have said that they were told that within the next little more than two
they were to permanently select a room where they would
relocate to because of the insufficient space at other lodges.

In the subsequent week, elderly residents were schlepped around by bus
to various lodge facilities with the purpose to have them select a new location.

Evacuation date continued to be identified as September 30, 2017.

Allegedly, the NPHF Board had determined that these seniors were costing too much money
in their present location.
Furthermore, they were told that the the building required upgrades which were too costly.

Collateral damage-
– One resident committed suicide, dying of trauma at the Grande Prairie Hospital.

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

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

One resident when interviewed by media said:
“I feel terrible because I don’t want to move any place else,” “You don’t treat your old people
like that.

– Last week another resident passed away. She had repeated many times to those around her,
she was not moving. She didn’t. She died. She was in her 90’s.

PACE has been called on site to counsel lodge residents ( PACE – Providing Assistance, Counselling, & Education –Grande Prairie

Because of the amazing pushback by family, concerned neighbours, the community and the residents
themselves, the lodge is not yet closed although some residents have relocated and staff numbers
have been severely reduced.

We allege:
1) Virulent elder abuse causing severe emotional harm.

2) Failure to provide a safe and secure environment which is necessary for the
well-being and quality of life
. (Legal definition elder abuse, Criminal Code of Canada)

We are outraged by what has been done to these Alberta pioneers and strongly submit that there needs
to be general condemnation of the perpetrators of this cited elder abuse.

Has this happened before. We encountered a similar story in 2009.

We were told by a City of Edmonton Councillor, that Ottewell Lodge, S. Edmonton was in serious
, especially the heating system. Elderly were evicted.
The uprooting of these seniors was severely painful.
However in no time, Ottewell Lodge was renamed Ottewell Manor and housed
elderly persons who had been relocated from Alberta Hospital Edmonton & elsewhere.
We have visited there.
Similarly the closing of Vilna Care Centre where one beloved senior died 3 weeks later.