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It’s worth paying a little more in taxes to keep our quality nursing home

Posted 30 October 2013 at 12:00 am

Editor:

Have you ever heard the expression, “You get what you pay for?” There are many situations in which this phrase aptly applies. Here are just a few:

Fine wine If you’re having a dinner party and trying to make a good impression on your boss or your in-laws, you probably don’t want to start it with a glass of “Two Buck Chuck” from Trader Joe’s.  Spend a little more – it’s worth it!

You’re ready to pop the question to your girlfriend of five years. Just a hunch, but you wouldn’t think of shopping for that engagement ring at Big Lots. Spend a little more. It’s definitely worth it.

When your teen-ager has passed his/her road test and it’s time to help buy a first car, do you go out and buy some old thing that barely runs and has just barely passed inspection? Of course not – your children are precious to you and you want them to be safe. You spend a little more and you know it’s worth it!

If your aging parents need a little extra help in the home and you have to find someone to help out, do you hire the cheapest person you can find without fully checking references? It’s not likely that you would consider approaching the problem in this manner. Parents are too important for money to be an overriding and deciding factor in whom to hire. You want caring, quality, honest and dependable people. It definitely is worth some extra money.

Now, suppose your parent(s) have to leave home and take up residence in a nursing home when they no longer can safely remain in their own homes. Will you likely want the best quality care you can find for them? I’m sure the answer is a resounding “YES.”

Consider this: We who live in Orleans County have a quality, 4-star rated county-run nursing home – The Villages of Orleans – right here in Albion.  The employees who have been responsible for that 4-star rating – the nurses, CNAs, cleaners food service workers, office staff, social workers – are all highly trained, caring, local, tax-paying workers who provide excellent care for our infirm and vulnerable seniors. And for this kind of excellent service, we pay a really miniscule amount each year on our county tax levies.

Does it make sense to sell this nursing home to a private operator with the real possibility that there could be a decline in the quality of care provided and a questionable long-term survival outlook for that nursing home if profits aren’t sufficiently high?

To me, the answer is clear – it should NOT be sold!  And even if we have to pay a little more to keep it a public facility – IT’S DEFINITELY WORTH IT!

Please get out and vote on Nov. 5. All current legislators who are running for re-election are committed to selling our nursing home. Consider casting your vote on the Democratic, Conservative, and Save Our Nursing Home lines for candidates who want to keep “The Villages” a public facility.

Kay Walter
Town of Barre
Member of the Concerned Citizens of Orleans County