There has been a push to get Wheatland County residents to send letters of Support to all elected officials to support the new Lodge and Hospice build in the Town of Strathmore. 

"Over the past two months, the hospice presented to five councils, four lions clubs, eight community halls, and in total, over 300 people and aspiring from that members of the community want to contribute their advocacy for the lodge and the Hospice, and we're proud of them taking up the torch," explained Chair of the Wheatland and Area Hospice Society, Dr. Joni McNeely. 

McNeely mentioned that by promoting these letters to the Government of Alberta, the MLAs, and local councilors, they could continue to advocate for the families of Wheatland County. 

"Specifically, the government of Alberta has moved the goalposts since Wheatland Housing Management submitted its application for the Alberta Housing Partnership Program Grant. So what's needed now is a class and A budget, and we're asking the councils to advance the funds they already committed to in 2023 because, without a class A budget, Minister Nixon of the Housing Ministry has said there's not a very good likelihood of that grant being awarded."

Brenda Cote expressed why she wrote a letter and why having a hospice means so much to not only her but the community. 

"Although there are some beds here in Strathmore, they are just beds at the end of the hall, and nobody wants their loved ones to be stuck away in a room without 24-hour nursing care as they require," said Cote. 

Cote said she took the 'bull by the horns' and knew she needed to get involved. 

"One thing I did was go around to all the people in our neighborhood, which is near Carseland, and I did a bit of a survey. Everyone to a person has said they want Hospice." 

Jill Aschenbrenner said that her late grandparents and parents inspired her to pick up a pen and write for the cause. 

"Our seniors and our end-of-life process have changed so much. My great-grandparents passed away in their own home, and that was the only option in the late 30s and 50s. My parents lived in the lodge, and they loved that. My parents and my mother-in-law all needed a palliative type care situation before they passed, and one wasn't available." 


Aschenbrenner went on to say that she is at the point where it's not just about her parents and grandparents needing care but that it is also about her thinking of the care she will need in the future. 

"I'm going to need this. This is for me, my husband, and my children; we have been here for generations and will all need it." 

Then, Brenda Tower gave insights into some of the pressing concerns she agreed with the most. 

"The Wheatland and Area Hospice Society has been dedicated to promoting this new facility, which is needed in our community. It is essential for end-of-life support for patients, families, and caregivers."

Tower says it is inconvenient for family members or patients to travel for care. 

"Write a letter or send a text, send an e-mail, and let them know that you favor this because we need this and this support," Cote expressed. 

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