Letter to the Editor: Why Nonprofit, Long-Term Care Matters

I lost my 88-year-old mother seven months ago and my 89-year-old father Feb. 16. My mother died in a for-profit facility with a staff fighting me on the fact that she was dying. My father died in the loving, compassionate care of the wonderful staff at Algoma Long Term Care in harmony with the angels from Unity Hospice. 

On Feb. 17, I attended a meeting of the Algoma City Council regarding the idea that Algoma Long Term Care needs to be “sold or closed,” as one council member so bluntly put it. 

All of the members of the public who were in attendance, among a slew of staff, expressed their love for the facility and the people they work with and their desire to keep Algoma Long Term Care functioning as a nonprofit facility owned by the city. 

I believe this is about money and the lack of money, with the majority of the patients on Medicare/Medicaid. 

We are all going to grow old and have loved ones who are going to need the services of long-term care. The lucky ones might have the means for care in a private institution (unless their money runs out), but paying big dollars for care doesn’t guarantee high-quality service, especially if bottom lines take precedence over service and care. 

As a community, our choices are dwindling drastically for long-term care. Once your stay at Door County Medical Center is over, where are you or your loved ones supposed to go? We support our fire, police and schools through our taxes; why can we not help support nonprofit long-term care facilities close to home so we can visit and check in on our loved ones regularly? 

I encourage our surrounding towns, villages and cities to work together for the common good of all of us to find a way to set an example for other communities about the importance of providing humane care for our elderly and their families. 

Karen Nowosel-Haen

Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin