By TIMOTHY HOYER
As the County Legislature will soon meet to vote on whether to keep the County Home as ours, there is one more interesting and important piece of information that we all need to know before making that decision.
The County Home started as "the poor house." Its purpose and mission was to take care of people who had no family to care for them and no money to pay for care. That mission continues today.
Our County Home accepts residents that other nursing homes reject because those other nursing homes would lose money caring for that person. Alzheimer's residents at the County Home cost more to care for than Medicaid pays our home. A woman in a car accident costs more than $1,000 a day to care for, and was sent to our County Home because the original nursing home she was at would no longer care for her due to the fact that they were losing money.
Our County Home takes care of residents that other nursing homes cannot. Our County Home cares for people and will not refuse them. We, as a county, purposely set up the home to lose money in order that it could care for people, members of our family, who have great needs that for-profit and not-for-profit homes cannot take care of.
If we sell the home, we will not be simply selling it to another provider. We will be losing its mission and purpose. We will lose the ability to care for residents who are in a financially unsupportable condition by the family and all other nursing homes. Those who cost too much to care for will have no place in the county to live.
That is the one more interesting and important piece of information we need to know before we vote. Let us vote to care for our neighbor who needs our help - a help no one else will provide.
Timothy Hoyer is a county legislator and Jamestown resident.