On Thursday, Nov. 16, nurses from Berks Heim Nursing Home joined concerned community members at the County Commissioners’ meeting to once again speak out against the sale of their nursing home.
According to a statement County Commissioner Kevin S. Barnhardt made to the Reading Eagle after examining the finances of the county-owned facility, Berks Heim could be saved if Berks homeowners paid a mere “$4.40 more in 2019.”
Supporters seized on the news, showing up to Thursday’s meeting with $5 bills in hand and signs reading, “Here’s a $5, Keep the Heim Alive!”
“Asking community residents to pay less than five dollars per year to care for their own loved ones is a small sacrifice in return for the benefits of keeping Berks Heim intact,” said Maryellen Nussbeutel, a licensed practical nurse at Berks Heim Nursing Home. “Berks County seniors deserve to live their lives in a reliable care facility, and their families should not have to worry about their safety or the quality of care they are receiving.”
Berks Heim nurses presented commissioners with stacks of petitions, signed by workers and family members of residents and urged them to continue exploring alternative measures to prevent the sale.
“The decision of this Commission reflects our community’s priorities,” continued Nussbeutel. “Our elderly residents deserve to be seen as more than just profit, and selling the home into private ownership would make them just that.”