Don’t turn care for frail elderly to whims of the marketplace

Posted 28 October 2013 at 12:00 am


Does anyone remember Wolcotts Dairy? Gus Revelas’ soda shop? Grants? Ames? Landauers? Super Duper? Carrolls?

They were all wonderful businesses that existed here in Orleans County when I was growing up. I have very fond memories of these places, as many likely do. Wolcotts had the best milkshakes ever and boy, do I miss them! Gus’s shop had all kinds of penny candies. They were privately owned businesses that have, sadly, come and gone.

Businesses do come and go, and we are left with memories when they leave. Of course, other businesses come to take their place. But some things are never quite the same.

It is up to the whims of the market and the individual circumstances of the owners as to whether or not they will survive. Sadly, many of the young people today have missed out on the joys of the businesses we used to have.

Our County Legislators (with the exception of George Bower) would have you believe that the Villages of Orleans Nursing Home is a business. The chairman has actually stated that we can’t make money on our frail elders, and has also said that this county should not be in the business of managing a nursing home.

Actually, the Orleans County Nursing Home is not a business, but a SERVICE that we provide for our seniors and those needing long-term care. It represents our commitment to care for our seniors, a commitment that made by the County Board of Supervisors in 1830 – 183 years ago!

This is a necessary service. All of those businesses that I mentioned above are now gone, having been replaced with some other business (some are good, some not so good). However, the nursing home was there back then and it is still here. But will it be here in five years?

Our Legislators are assuring us that they are trying to save the nursing home by selling it. But selling it will place it out of the public domain and into the market place. A guarantee of good care for our seniors will become a crap shoot in the market place. It will only be here if some group can make a lot of money.

It became a public service in the first place so that it would remain stable, a guarantee for our seniors.This is critical for our community. We can’t leave these services to the whims and foibles of the world of business. Our seniors and their families are too important. Look at how often our stores, our banks, and other businesses have changed hands around here. How many times do we want to see the nursing home change hands?

The Concerned Citizens group has been working very hard for many months now trying to get this message out. We have had meetings, protested in front of the Courthouse, wrote letters, called legislators, put up signs, obtained petition signatures, held spaghetti dinners and on and on. We need help to keep this Nursing Home public.

We have a right to expect that our Legislators care what the public thinks, that they listen and respond with respect, that they don’t try to shut out voices by establishing an LDC, that they don’t make false statements such as “referendums are illegal,” or “the CGR report supports our decision to sell,” or “we face a $2 million dollar deficit,” or “it is a done deal.”

And they don’t send out glossy, expensive ads that say that Concerned Citizens (Democrats, they falsely called us) are trying to scare you. We have a chance to change this by voting for our candidates on the Save the Nursing Home line: Gary Kent, Jack Gillman, Gregory ‘Emil’ Smith, and Linda Rak. And two other candidates we have endorsed: David Schult and Fred Miller.

All of these candidates will listen to you with respect, and are committed to saving this nursing home. Please go out and vote on Nov. 5 and help us save this Nursing Home!

Chris Loss