Herb Bassett celebrates 30 years of memories

Jodi Schellenberg
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It was an exciting milestone for one nursing home in Prince Albert.

On Friday afternoon, the Herb Bassett Home celebrated its 30th anniversary with a come and go tea.

“It is hard to believe it has been 30 years since we started walking these halls,” said Linda Perlitz, who has worked at the Herb Bassett Home since it opened. “I remember the day we were shown this building for the very first time and stood in the Centennial Lounge and looked down the hallways. We have put on a lot of miles over the years.”

For the staff, residents and volunteers, it doesn’t seem like 30 years have passed.

“Wow, 30 years. Truly an amazing and wonderful event in our society today where things come and go and life just go on,” administrative assistant Lorna Bennett said. “From our free spirited youth, who would think 30 years is a life sentence while they are waiting, to us old school veterans like myself, who wonder where the time has gone, this is an achievement we can be proud of in a world that is constantly and rapidly advancing.”

Thirty years ago, the Northern Housing Development Corporation came up with the idea for the Herb Bassett Home, Prince Albert Parkland Regional Health Authority Board member Mona Selanders said.

“They had the foresight to plan a facility that could accommodate the growing demand for the support and care in Prince Albert and area,” Selanders said. “This was not an easy decision, but one that resulted in the construction of the Herb Bassett Home. They recognized the need for the community to take a leadership role in identifying a need and supporting a solution.”

The home was created with the support of the Prince Albert council, surrounding RMs and local towns and villages.

“Thank you to those leaders for their vision of a community supporting its elders and other vulnerable people,” Selanders said.

Putting a family member in a nursing home is not an easy decision to make, Selanders said.

“The Herb Bassett Home is really about being a home for some of the most vulnerable people in our community. Their families have made a difficult decision to have someone come and live at this great facility.

“That decision is one that is made many times in our health region and in our province every single day,” she added. “We hope that the difficult decision is made easier when they know their loved ones are cared for and looked after in a place like the Herb Bassett Home.”

The facility wouldn’t be a home without the support of the Herb Bassett Home auxiliary and volunteers from the community.

“I want to acknowledge the auxiliary members and friends of the Herb Bassett Home for all their time, energy and financial support,” Selanders said. “With this support, our staff and volunteers are able to make this much more than just a health care facility -- they can also make it a home.”

Herb Bassett staff member Shirley Ursu said a great deal of facility’s success is due to the support of the auxiliary.

“This group of dedicated members have transformed this building into a home,” Ursu said. “From the day the doors opened, the fundraising began to provide our residents with the comforts of home.”

Although the monetary items make their lives a bit brighter, the auxiliary does more than provide financial support.

“It is the friendship, the comfort when we are in need and the willingness to help” that makes a difference in the residents’ lives, Ursu said.

The volunteers, through their endless donated hours, also make the residents’ lives better, she said.

“Your passion, generosity, love and encouragement plays a key role in empowering our residents lives,” Ursu said. “Your positive energy, collaboration and commitment has brought hope, happiness and healing to our home. Thank you for caring, sharing and understanding.”

The speakers at the event also praised the staff for the day-to-day work they do in the facility.

“You are all very special people and it takes a special person to work in this field,” Perlitz said.

The staff put their whole heart into working at the facility and serving the residents.

“A huge thank you to the staff and former staff who have worked incredibly hard at this facility and the current staff who have been committed to providing quality, safe and compassionate care to all the residents here at the Herb Bassett Home,” Selanders said. “I know the staff members and volunteers are always working extremely hard to meet the spiritual, emotional and physical needs of the residents here.”

The support of everyone who works or volunteers in the facility makes it a home, the speakers agreed.

“This is a family here and as all families celebrate occasions, we to need to enjoy all of (that) here today and those who have been a part of the facility in years gone by,” said Carol Gregoryk, Prince Albert Parkland Health Region VP of Integrated Health Services. “Walls can just be walls -- it takes a great deal more to make this a home and it has been and will continue to be quite a home.”  

Organizations: Northern Housing Development, Prince Albert Parkland Regional Health Authority, Prince Albert council Integrated Health Services

Geographic location: Prince Albert

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