Residents and staff at the Pines Care Home in Burns Lake rely on bedside callers to alert someone if extra help is needed. The system hasn’t been working for a couple of weeks and the system is so old that repairing it is impossible.
The facility is run by Northern Health and any capital costs or repairs are their responsibility.
“It can’t be repaired,” said Eryn Collins, a spokesperson for Northern Health, “Parts are no longer available and the manufacturer no longer supports the system.”
Replacing the system is an expensive proposition and will not happen quickly.
“The cost would be over the threshold where we have to go to a tendering process,” she said. “That threshold is $75,000, and we expect it to cost more than that.”
Its to early to tell when the new system could in place as Northern Health is currently studying the needs of the facility in order to work up a detailed engineering description of what’s needed.
“Because the system is going to be a replacement rather than just a repair, we’re going to need time to look into what we want and need in terms of a new system, so there’s going to be a bit of an opportunity here to make sure that it fits our current needs”, Collins said.
“But we’ve got a contingency plan in place to deal with the absence of that particular equipment,” Collins said. “For now, the staff are doing hourly checks on the residents and bringing in more staff to cover areas during higher workload times.”
They also have whistles and walkie-talkies available for residents that are able to use them.