Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Julie Ali · University of Alberta Safety is more than having fire alarms and sprinkler systems in place. It is important to have well trained staff available who understand the physical, mental and emotional needs of disabled citizens. It is important that such staff be trained on equipment used by these citizens such as critical equipment like BIPAP machines. It’s important that staff numbers be appropriate so that they can respond in a timely fashion to call bells for example. Lower staff numbers in places like continuing care facilities make it problematic to handle the higher needs of complex care residents. You also can’t be medicating these residents to enable staff to manage them in factory fashion. Safety culture establishment requires teamwork. These teams need to have appropriate supports and services in place in care plans. The failure to have integrated care plans is clear to our family based on five years of erratic care provision for my handicapped sister -- in the continuing care system. There is no complex care management anywhere that I can detect and certainly what we have at present for our most disabled citizens is simply bare bones care. It’s sad but there you go. In addition to under servicing handicapped citizens the government underpays them; most of these disabled citizens are kept at low income levels by the government of Alberta with AISH stipends sufficient only to pay for continuing care placements and very little left over. It always amazes me that the government of Alberta is able to pony up upwards of half a million dollars for top executives at AHS and Covenant Health and yet our family members on AISH have to do with less than minimum wage payouts. Safety issues have been endemic and deferred by government. We have to listen to the government talk about consultation, we have to watch money wasted on study after study when the real requirement is that action be taken by the government. We even changed the political party to get change in the treatment of our most vulnerable citizens-- but there is no change. The government is all talk and no action because these handicapped citizens have no voice, are marginalized, have no power, and the media has no interest in them because they aren’t newsworthy. This is an unfortunate state of affairs that will persist in my opinion no matter who we elect because government has decided to outsource the care of the most vulnerable citizens to others in the public and private sector without meaningful oversight of these third party entities. No one cares so long as the citizens are warehoused and government can say they have created spaces for them. But what sort of spaces are being created? How safe are the placements? What do these citizens experience? The public is oblivious. Well one day, we might end up disabled and we’ll experience then the travesty of an inappropriate placement that certainly does not emphasize safety in my opinion. Based on our family's experiences with the continuing care system in Alberta, disabled citizens are not safe anywhere simply because government has downloaded care to private and public entities which are governed by standards that aren’t audited in a way to detect problems. If this is the situation in continuing care, why would it be different anywhere else? Why government even pretends that they are interested in safety is beyond my understanding. There is no point asking disabled citizens about safety, creating safety standards and then ignoring safety problems for years as some continuing care providers have been allowed to do. There is no point having safety standards when audits aren’t detecting problems that families are complaining about. Why are families detecting problems and safety issues that government auditing teams are not? Why are we the boots on the ground? Why do we pay folks when we -the families--are doing the auditing, the follow up and the public reporting of public safety issues that government is incapable of solving without such public disclosure? Who is auditing who here? I suggest to families to do the safety work themselves.Government will publish more studies and no action will be taken. It’s all public relations spin. And it no longer works. We want action. We don't believe the chatter because we have seen this chatter in continuing care and nothing has changed. But certainly, the minister provides the typical government public relations spin here that is utterly meaningless: http://globalnews.ca/.../alberta-should-use-holistic.../... Sabir said the government would take some time to review the recommendations and to decide how best to implement them. “These consultations require us to look at safety differently.” Like · Reply · Just now


http://www.humanservices.alberta.ca/documents/PDD-standards-consultation-recommendations-report.pdf?utm_source=mailoutinteractive&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=+++++Persons+with+Developmental+Disabilities+Safety+Standards+Consultation+Team
Supporting Safe
and Inclusive Lives
Report of the Persons with Developmental
Disabilities Safety Standards Consultation 2016

http://globalnews.ca/news/3027529/alberta-should-use-holistic-approach-to-safety-standards-for-people-with-disabilities-report/?sf40004707=1
October 26, 2016 2:46 pm

Alberta should use ‘holistic’ approach to safety standards for people with disabilities: report

CroppedPhilResizedBy Phil HeidenreichOnline journalist  Global News
Human Services Minister Irfan Sabir speaks to reporters on Oct. 26, 2016.
Human Services Minister Irfan Sabir speaks to reporters on Oct. 26, 2016.
Global News
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A team tasked with developing new policy alternatives for how the Alberta government approaches safety for people with disabilities submitted its final report to Human Services Minister Irfan Sabir Wedensday.
The report, Supporting Safe and Inclusive Lives, saw the Persons with Developmental Disabilities (PDD) Safety Standards Consultation Team speak with more than 2,000 Albertans over the last year about how to allow people with disabilities to lead safer lives while also being treated the same as all other Albertans.

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“We, as a team, felt we should never forget that people with disabilities have the right and the opportunity to live in their community of choice while being supported to live safely and in community,” team chair John te Linde told reporters.
His team presented the government with 11 recommendations that he says call on lawmakers to adopt a more “holistic” view of safety for people with disabilities.
“Safety is more than just about physical structures – things like fire alarms and that kind of stuff – it’s about people having the necessary supports from properly trained people to live safely in their homes and in community,” te Linde said. “So it’s a much broader approach and perspective to safety than the earlier PDD safety standards regulations were.”
PDD safety regulations were first brought in after a fatality inquiry looked into the death of a woman at her Capilano group home in 2007. Marilyn Lane had Down syndrome and died when she was unable to escape her basement suite when the fire broke out.
Previously proposed standards were subjected to criticism because those with disabilities felt they weren’t involved in drafting them, something the government says is different now.
“The concern we heard loud and clear (is), that safety is broader than that, that regulation was restrictive and was not implemented in consultation so this is the first time that we are hearing from the people whose safety we are talking about,” Sabir said.
Watch below: Earlier this year, Albertans were encouraged to share their thoughts on how to ensure the safety of people with developmental disabilities. Sarah Kraus filed this report on Feb. 29, 2016.
The cost burden of implementing safety features was previously placed on landlords, restricting where people were able to live if landlords did not spend the money to make the improvements or if they tried to pass the cost on to renters.
“When you’re faced with the possibility or the requirement to put in a sprinkler system in a rental suite- that’s very difficult,” te Linde said. “For many of them, they were forced with the option of having to move to somewhere that they couldn’t afford.”
Sabir said the government would take some time to review the recommendations and to decide how best to implement them.
“These consultations require us to look at safety differently.”



Julie Ali · 
Safety is more than having fire alarms and sprinkler systems in place. It is important to have well trained staff available who understand the physical, mental and emotional needs of disabled citizens. It is important that such staff be trained on equipment used by these citizens such as critical equipment like BIPAP machines. It’s important that staff numbers be appropriate so that they can respond in a timely fashion to call bells for example. Lower staff numbers in places like continuing care facilities make it problematic to handle the higher needs of complex care residents. You also can’t be medicating these residents to enable staff to manage them in factory fashion.

Safety culture establishment requires teamwork. These teams need to have appropriate supports and services in place in care plans. The failure to have integrated care plans is clear to our family based on five years of erratic care provision for my handicapped sister -- in the continuing care system. There is no complex care management anywhere that I can detect and certainly what we have at present for our most disabled citizens is simply bare bones care. It’s sad but there you go.

In addition to under servicing handicapped citizens the government underpays them; most of these disabled citizens are kept at low income levels by the government of Alberta with AISH stipends sufficient only to pay for continuing care placements and very little left over. It always amazes me that the government of Alberta is able to pony up upwards of half a million dollars for top executives at AHS and Covenant Health and yet our family members on AISH have to do with less than minimum wage payouts.

Safety issues have been endemic and deferred by government. We have to listen to the government talk about consultation, we have to watch money wasted on study after study when the real requirement is that action be taken by the government. We even changed the political party to get change in the treatment of our most vulnerable citizens-- but there is no change. The government is all talk and no action because these handicapped citizens have no voice, are marginalized, have no power, and the media has no interest in them because they aren’t newsworthy.

This is an unfortunate state of affairs that will persist in my opinion no matter who we elect because government has decided to outsource the care of the most vulnerable citizens to others in the public and private sector without meaningful oversight of these third party entities. No one cares so long as the citizens are warehoused and government can say they have created spaces for them. But what sort of spaces are being created? How safe are the placements? What do these citizens experience? The public is oblivious. Well one day, we might end up disabled and we’ll experience then the travesty of an inappropriate placement that certainly does not emphasize safety in my opinion.

Based on our family's experiences with the continuing care system in Alberta, disabled citizens are not safe anywhere simply because government has downloaded care to private and public entities which are governed by standards that aren’t audited in a way to detect problems. If this is the situation in continuing care, why would it be different anywhere else?

Why government even pretends that they are interested in safety is beyond my understanding. There is no point asking disabled citizens about safety, creating safety standards and then ignoring safety problems for years as some continuing care providers have been allowed to do.

There is no point having safety standards when audits aren’t detecting problems that families are complaining about. Why are families detecting problems and safety issues that government auditing teams are not? Why are we the boots on the ground? Why do we pay folks when we -the families--are doing the auditing, the follow up and the public reporting of public safety issues that government is incapable of solving without such public disclosure? Who is auditing who here?

I suggest to families to do the safety work themselves.Government will publish more studies and no action will be taken. It’s all public relations spin. And it no longer works. We want action. We don't believe the chatter because we have seen this chatter in continuing care and nothing has changed.

But certainly, the minister provides the typical government public relations spin here that is utterly meaningless:

http://globalnews.ca/.../alberta-should-use-holistic.../...

Sabir said the government would take some time to review the recommendations and to decide how best to implement them.

“These consultations require us to look at safety differently.”

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