Rimoka Lodges receive funding

One of Ponoka’s seniors’ lodges is going to receive some much needed funding from the government.

One of Ponoka’s seniors’ lodges is going to receive some much needed funding from the government.

Alberta Municipal Affairs recently announced $30.9 million to upgrade accommodations in lodges across the province. Allocation for the buildings is $3,000 per room for building repairs, fire and safety upgrades and kitchen, dining room and residential room upgrades.

This gives Golden Leisure Lodge in Ponoka $231,000 for its 77 units and Parkland Manor in Rimbey $189,000 for its 63 units said Paul McLauchlin, chairman of Rimoka Housing Foundation.

He is unsure when the money will be released but looks forward to putting the cash flow to use. “There’s definitely been a to-do list for a while.”

The funds will help the foundation prioritize a list of items they want to complete. Safety is the first priority and improving on the comfort of residents is another important factor for the board’s consideration.

McLauchlin praised Doug Griffiths, municipal affairs minister, for working to ensure seniors are taken care of.

“You can tell that in all likelihood he had to fight for these dollars,” he said. “I suspect that he fought hard for it.”

“These lodges are essential accommodations for seniors who wish to stay close to their families and neighbours as they age, especially those who live in rural Alberta,” said Griffiths in a news release. “We are spending our dollars smarter by upgrading these older properties to ensure our seniors have safe, comfortable and affordable places to call home now and in the future.”

There have been some vacancies at Golden Leisure Lodge and some people have asked questions over why there are empty rooms. Some of the issues involve what types of services are offered to someone coming in. McLauchlin feels cases need to be considered on an individual basis. When a person does apply however there is certain criteria that needs to be met.

“At the end of the day you’re dealing with an organization that’s compassionate and caring,” said McLauchlin. “I would expect it to be a unique situation between that individual and what their needs were and what’s available.”

Reid Manor

There has been some discussion of changes at Reid Manor in how services are provided to residents. Right now any new resident is required to take the services such as meals and laundry provided at the building, said McLauchlin.

“Something is definitely going to change, the question is when and to what extent,” he added.

He was quick to add that the foundation respects residents’ rights and wants to keep them aware of any changes that may happen in the future. “We have to do some more work to find out what direction to take in both the short-term and long-term.”