ADVERTISEMENT

Psychiatric unit closure affects nursing home, too

As I reflect on a recent News article about the closing of psychiatric services at Kaleida Health, one does not realize the impact not only on those suffering from mental illnesses, but also the other consumers who utilize services provided by Kaleida.

One group of consumers being directly impacted are the 300 people who live in High Pointe Nursing Home, which is operated by Kaleida. High Pointe is home to these 300 people who are medically complicated and cannot be cared for in the community. They are long-term residents who have nowhere else to live, and they will spend their last days on earth in that facility. They rely on the staff members who work there to provide for all of their basic needs and a family-like atmosphere.

Unfortunately, with the closing of mental health services, more than half of the staff members of the Social Work Department at High Pointe are losing their jobs due to bumping, resulting in replacement workers who have no long-term care experience. The good working relationships that have been established with both the residents and the families are being destroyed, leaving these residents vulnerable.

Obviously, the administration of Kaleida Health and CWA Local 1168 don’t care about the individual residents at High Pointe or they would have had a better solution when the mental health services at Buffalo General Medical Center closed.

Mary Ellen Vogel

Lancaster