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ANDREW – The Alberta Union of Provincial Employees is troubled to hear of the impending closure of the Andrew Seniors Lodge (ASL), a 24-bed assisted living facility with four independent living units, in Lamont County.

“The shuttering of this assisted living facility is a source of uncertainty within the community and for the AUPE members who work there,” said AUPE Vice-President Mike Dempsey.

Residents will be moved to new care facilities, but this will mean living further away from their families and home community.

Some ASL workers will continue their work at neighbouring care facilities in Mundare and Lamont, but these communities are 32 and 45 kilometers away, respectively.

This is one more example of the increasing need for more publicly operated, predictably funded care facilities.

“During the 2015 election, the Alberta NDP promised to create 2,000 public long-term care beds,” said Dempsey. “AUPE members have been calling for the government to make good on this promise, which would provide needed care for seniors and others and ease pressures on other areas of the health care system.”

However, there were no new public beds announced in the 2018 provincial budget and none have been built.

“Rural communities are hit particularly hard when they lose health facilities like this one,” added Dempsey. “Whether the number of residents is 8 or 80, the government has a responsibility to provide appropriate levels of care for those who need it.”

The ASL is a public not-for-profit facility operated by the Lamont County Housing Foundation. The lodge is scheduled to cease operations at the end of December 2018.

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For more information:

Alexander Delorme, AUPE communications officer: 780-930-3333

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