Catt. Co. Legislature Votes To Improve Nursing Homes

LITTLE VALLEY – Residents of Cattaraugus County’s nursing homes will have a more comfortable process of being lifted by workers, and legislators may see a new technological tool for their use after approval by the legislature.

Training and equipment will make lifting those that are dependent on nursing home staff safer, and more comfortable after the legislature approved the purchase and installation of 20 Liko Motor packages, slings and two Sabina Mobile Lift units, for a total of $64,220.30. Another almost $21,000 will be spent to complete training of the staff on how to use the equipment.

Installation and use of the lifts have been in the works for the better part of the last year, according to Legislator Pula Stockman, R, South Dayton, and training for the new devices has been nearly completed, according to Timothy Hellwig, nursing home director.

Hellwig told the members of the legislature that the equipment will be fully installed in six to eight weeks, with most being overhead lifts that have been recommend by the Safe Resident Handling Program Committee.

“Everything in the process has progressed nicely,” he said. “What we are seeing is a continuation of the training we are already doing.”

Another measure was not met with such nice conversation. The members of the legislature voted, with five of the 21 members voting against a measure to spend $25,332 of contingency funds to purchase a tablet device for all the members of the body.

“I feel we could be spending this money in other places,” said John Padlo, D-Olean. “There are a lot of department heads that don’t have these kinds of things that could use them. I will be voting no on the resolution.”

Padlo was joined by Yorkshire Legislator William Sprague, South Dayton Legislator Paula Stockman; Richard Lamberson, of Allegany and Joseph Snyder, of Cuba.

Because the measure passed, county lawmakers will have the option of having one of the devices. They will not be forced to take them, however. The devices will be purchased through a contract with Computer Discount Wearhouse-Government, of Vernon Hills, Ill. The tablets will also all carry warranties, and have all accessories with them, according to the language of the resolution.

Because the legislature is in its summer schedule, only one legislative session will take place in August. That will be held at 3 p.m. in the Third Floor Legislative Chambers of the County Building, 303 Court St., Little Valley. County Committees will meet Aug. 20 in the large conference room, adjacent to the regular legislative chamber, starting at 4 p.m.