Unexpected bill from Villeneuve seniors facility adds stress for grieving Alberta family

The family of an Edmonton-area senior is devastated after being hit with an unexpected bill in the wake of his mother’s death.

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The family is sharing their story in the hopes that others will not find themselves in the same situation.

It was a call on Remembrance Day that Connie Brooks will always remember.


“It was the administrator who called and told my older sister, ‘Your mom flooded the room, she left the window open, the pipes froze. It’s all her fault, she has to pay for it,’” 92 said Connie Brooks, daughter of 19-year-old Elsie Fuhr.

Brooks said the call came around noon, and her mother had to leave the West Country Hearth Lodge by 4 p.m., after the administration said there was no other accommodation.

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The senior’s facility is in Villeneuve, approximately 10 kilometers west of Saint Albert.

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The Fuhrer stayed with one of his daughters.

Brooks said, “She had a fall one day and we took her to the hospital, and while she was in the hospital she started having a heart attack and passed away the next morning.”

The family was later left with an almost $14,000 bill for repairs to the room.

In a statement to Granthshala News, West Country Heath pointed to their housing lease agreement signed upon entry, saying, “Resident hereby undertakes to reimburse West Country Heath for any damage or destruction caused to West Country Heath.” country stove property due to negligence or incompetence by the occupant or members of their household” and that “if windows are left open, freezing plumbing, or damage to floors or walls from rain are responsible.”

Brooks said, “My insurance covered the contents, but they won’t cover the pipe freezing and repair because the building is already insured and they’re not going to sell insurance for something already insured by another company.” Huh.”

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Ruth Adria with the Elder Advocates of Alberta Society said Fuhrer and his family may not have understood or been aware of the damages policy.

Ruth Adria said, “The people who go to the lodge are frail, they are dependent, in some cases maybe a little bit of dementia.”

Brooks hopes that sharing her story will bring awareness to others facing a similar situation.

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