The Langham Care Home celebrated the start of a new chapter in its 46-year history on Saturday, June 23.
The care home has operated as a privately-owned philanthropic enterprise since it first opened its doors on February 14, 1971. But that changed in December, 2017, when a new community-based non-profit charitable organization officially purchased the home with an eye to ensuring it continues to operate into the future.
With the new ownership, the name was also officially changed from the Langham Senior Citizens Home to the Langham Care Home.
The new ownership group is led by a volunteer board of directors led by chairperson Marg Balzer that also includes Eva Giesbrecht, Jim Milne, Bonnie Morrison and Beverly Panas. While the new charitable-ownership structure has been in place since early January and there have been no changes in the operation of the home, a ceremony to mark the official grand opening of the home was held in conjunction with the Langham Days community fair last weekend.
“It is a special occasion,” said Langham Care Home administrator Conrad Jantzen. “The future looks very bright for this home. There is a definite need for a facility like this; one that allows people to live in their hometown close to family and friends.”
There are currently 28 residents in the home, including three married couples who are able to live together in the same quarters despite having differing levels of care. That is one thing that makes the Langham Care home unique in the province, noted Jantzen. He added the care home is also the largest employer in the community.
Anna Wieler and her husband Bill, who are originally from Neuhorst, have been married for over 57 years, and they both moved to the facility recently. Anna said it “feels like home” and she appreciates not being separated from her spouse.
“It’s close to family,” she said. “And it’s not like we’ve never been to Langham before. We used to come to a lot of Richard Mierau’s auctions here.”
“They take good care of us here,” added Bill.
Carlton Trail-Eagle Creek Member of Parliament Kelly Block said at the ribbon-cutting ceremony that the community of Langham deserves credit for taking a “proactive” approach to senior care by investing time, money and labour into a community-owned facility.
“This occasion marks a new beginning while honouring a very long history of quality care right here in your community,” said Block. “We owe a debt of gratitude to our seniors, who spent their lives building and maintaining the communities we now call home.”
Biggar-Sask Valley MLA Randy Weekes, who put in a lot of behind-the-scenes support to help the community-based group purchase the home, said he’s excited to see things work out as everyone hoped.
“This is a good day for the community, and for the residents who live here,” said Weekes.
Langham Mayor John Hildebrand said the town council is committed to working with the home’s new ownership group.
“The board of directors of this new charity have worked endless hours to put this together, said Hildebrand. “It’s been a great community effort.”