Eaglestone Lodge forced to cut expenses

Eaglestone Lodge, a non-profit corporation that provides accommodation, meals and care to elderly residents in Kamsack, has been forced to reduce its operating expenses.

According to Colleen Pennell, newly elected president of the Eaglestone Lodge board of directors, the facility has been losing more than $15,000 per month. Unless residency rates are increased and expenses are cut, Eaglestone is on track to lose another $80,000 by August 31,

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“Tough decisions have been made to keep Eaglestone Lodge open for residents and the community,” said Pennell. “We have increased residency rates by 10 per cent, effective June 1, and we will significantly reduce operating expenses.”

Eaglestone Lodge is licenced by the Saskatchewan Ministry of Health and is compliant with the Personal Care Home Act and Regulations. Its current board of directors, elected February 24, are also directors of the Eaglestone Lodge non-profit corporation that employs staff, applies for licence renewals and operates the facility. Eaglestone Lodge Inc. is also a registered charity.

“The new board of directors was elected ten weeks ago. Since then we have assessed the financial situation and are moving ahead with a restructuring plan,” said Pennell.

Working with the Health Ministry’s personal care home consultants, Eaglestone’s board began by reducing the capacity of the lodge from 42 to 30 full-care residents. Reduced capacity means that Eaglestone is no longer required to employ a full-time registered nurse.

“We will be running the facility with 30 full-care beds and five independent suite renters,” said

Pennell. There are currently 25 full-care residents and rooms for five more.

“We could not increase the residency rates any further, so we have been forced to cut expenses,” reported Pennell.

Cost cutting measures include replacing the charge nurse position with a full-time personal care aide manager, and replacing the director of operations position with an office manager.

The nurse position will be eliminated effective May 28, and the Director of Operations position will end June 25. The full-time personal care aide manager position and the office manager positions are now being advertised.

 “I would like to assure all Eaglestone residents and their families that health care professionals and Eaglestone Lodge staff will continue to provide required care during this challenging time,” said Pennell.

Eaglestone Lodge is a Level One and Level Two assisted living facility. It is part of a larger health and long-term care complex based in Kamsack. Health care in Eaglestone is supplemented by the Kamsack Nursing Home, offering Level Three and Level Four care, and the Kamsack District Hospital. Both of these facilities are funded and managed by the Saskatchewan Health Authority (SHA).

The Assiniboine Valley Medical Centre also provides access to doctors and dentists in Kamsack.

The medical walk-in clinic is operated by the Assiniboine Valley Health & Wellness Foundation

Inc., an incorporated registered charity formed in 2013. The Emergency Medical Services (EMS or Ambulance) organization based in Kamsack is also an important component of local health care.

All four health service providers are aware of the changes scheduled to take place at Eaglestone and are committed to maintain their high standards of care.

Eaglestone Lodge Inc. provides employment to 25 full-time and part-time personal care home workers. In the 2019-2020 fiscal year it paid out $663,500 in wages. The Lodge is not government subsidized. Virtually all of its revenue comes from fees charged to residents and independent suite renters. Donations are very welcome.

The Eaglestone Lodge volunteer board of directors appreciates the hard work and dedication of its staff and will continue to operate this facility in a fair and fiscally responsible manner.

To learn more about Eaglestone Lodge, please visit their website: eaglestonelodge.com