Letter to the Editor: Sept. 27, 2023
Letter to the Editor published in the Sept. 27, 2023 issue of the Tomahawk Leader.
Regarding costs and numbers for keeping Pine Crest
Most of us would prefer to continue to live at home or in an apartment setting, hopefully supported by all the necessary services available, when the need arises. But even if those support services are available, is the home or apartment physically suitable for wheel chair access, walk-in showers, hospital-sized beds, etc.? Many home owners or building owners cannot afford those retrofit accommodations.
Yes, there are all kinds of valuable services outside of a nursing home for those who qualify, but let’s look at some numbers.
ADRC-CW has been mentioned, specifically Meals-on-Wheels, which is a great program and has helped many. No eligible person is denied service due to inability to contribute, but there is a suggested contribution of $5.00 per delivered meal. The program’s actual costs average over $9.00 a meal per figures received earlier this year.
So, if a recipient can contribute only $1.00 a meal for five meals a week, for one year, that’s $260.00 a year. Compare that to the proposed $170.00 tax bill for an equalized evaluation for a $200,000.00 property.
There are all kinds of in-home supports offered for those eligible, but the reality is they can be short-staffed for services like home health care, med nurses, therapists, etc. There are only so many reliable, dedicated workers available who do not have to, or are willing to, drive great distances to get to their jobs. So, even if one qualifies under Medicaid, etc., it doesn’t necessarily mean they will receive those services when needed.
Almost all nursing homes need more staff, but at least those nursing homes are already equipped with all the of services and necessities mentioned above. Pine Crest just happens to have a five-star rating for its services.
In Leona Vander Sanden’s last letter-to-the-Editor, she mentioned Judy Woller’s previous county board supervisory vote to reduce the number of beds in Pine Crest. I am sure that Judy, and County Board Supervisor Carl Vander Sanden, (2012-2017), as well as any supervisor, would appreciate being able to explain their justifications for their votes on Pine Crest.
I would like to add that Judy Woller has been a decades-long, valuable advocate for Lincoln County residents, and continues to be so even in retirement.
Thank you to the Tomahawk Leader and Foto News for providing a county-wide survey regarding the future of Pine Crest. The only addition I would add to the future financing question would be, “Should the county pursue additional sources of financing beyond or in addition to the tax base?”
Diana C. Smith