Monday, December 19, 2016

John Gerrits Ahhh.....golden years------------Cindy Fordyce @Ann Hudson Care homes refuse to take back patients for variety of reasons - most often because they can't or won't deal with any increase in care------------Elizabeth Rinke's extended stay in a hospital was not unique, according to Debra Walko, the Director of Seniors Services for LOFT Community Services in Toronto.-------------Patient's 'complex needs' delayed move, hospital says-------In a written statement to Go Public, health officials said, "We understand how hard this must be for the patient and their family. No one wants to see their family member in the hospital longer than necessary," a spokesperson for Fraser Health wrote. "This patient came to our hospital with a medical condition that required treatment. While treating this condition, her complex care needs prevented her from being transferred back to the original facility where she lived. These needs were such that they also delayed the assessment process for the specialized support she needed in the community."------- Two weeks after being admitted to hospital, Rinke says doctors signed off on his mother's release back to the home. That's when he discovered she had nowhere to go. The home she came from wouldn't take her back. "We get a call from the care home saying they closed her bed, basically kicked her out, and she's been warehoused in the hospital since," Rinke told Go Public.-------------Julie Ali Just now · CBC News · This junk occurs in Alberta and it is because there aren't suitable placements for complex care patients. It's the strategy of the former PC government and the current NDPC government. We won't get change because even Team Trudeau is looking for ways to cut the costs of senior care. No one cares about seniors because they are powerless and can't get their voices heard. It's always been strange to me that we're supposed to have rights until we become sick or in a hospital/ continuing care facility. Why don't patients and residents in continuing care have legislated patient / resident rights? Because the PCs and the NDPCs don't want them to have these rights. Too much bother for the GOA. Restrained and medicated senior spends months 'warehoused' in hospital The family of an 86-year-old says that after living successfully in a home for seniors with similar physical and psychological problems for years, she was 'kicked out'… CBC.CA LikeShow more reactionsComment--------------------

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/restrained-medicated-senior-mentally-ill-hospital-warehoused-surrey-1.3844353
GO PUBLIC

Restrained and medicated senior spends months 'warehoused' in hospital

Mentally ill patients 76% more likely to be restrained in a general ward vs. psychiatric hospital, study finds

By Rosa Marchitelli, CBC News Posted: Nov 14, 2016 2:00 AM PT Last Updated: Nov 14, 2016 8:29 AM PT
Elizabeth Rinke, left, in better times, before she was admitted to a long-term care facility for her mental health issues six years ago. Rinke spent seven months 'warehoused' in hospital after a mental health episode, during which time she lost her spot in a long-term care facility.
Elizabeth Rinke, left, in better times, before she was admitted to a long-term care facility for her mental health issues six years ago. Rinke spent seven months 'warehoused' in hospital after a mental health episode, during which time she lost her spot in a long-term care facility. (Ralph Rinke)
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About The Author

Photo of Rosa Marchitelli
Rosa Marchitelli
@cbcRosa
Rosa Marchitelli has more than a decade of experience reporting and in the anchor chair. She is currently host of the CBC News segment Go Public. Go Public stories come almost exclusively from people who write in story ideas. The segment seeks to shed light on untold stories that are of public interest and hold those responsible accountable.

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The son of an 86-year-old B.C. woman says his mom spent months "warehoused" in hospital, moved to five different units, and was restrained so often that her mental and physical illness worsened.
"People go there to get better and leave. It shouldn't be her place to live. She has nothing there, no clothing or anything, just shoes and a sweater," Norm Rinke told Go Public about this mother Elizabeth Rinke.
"She has a gown and that's how she lives."
Elizabeth Rinke has a history of mental health problems and suffers from schizoaffective disorder: a condition in which a person can experience hallucinations, delusions, mania or depression.
After living successfully in a home for seniors with similar issues for years, her family says she was "kicked out" and then "warehoused" in a hospital general ward, often chemically and physically restrained in her bed.

'Mental health episode' turns senior's life upside down

Last March, Rinke had what her son calls a "mental health episode" and became agitated during a dinner out. She ended up in hospital.
"She'd been there before with episodes in the past. We figured she'd be assessed, maybe some medication changed, then she'd be fine to go back to the care facility. This is what we were led to believe," Norm Rinke said.
Elizabeth Rinke's hands
Elizabeth Rinke's hands show bruises her family says came after she was chemically and physically restrained by hospital staff. Fraser Health officials say bruising can occur when seniors are injected and that their policy is to only use restraints as a last resort. (Ralph Rinke)
Two weeks after being admitted to hospital, Rinke says doctors signed off on his mother's release back to the home.
That's when he discovered she had nowhere to go.
The home she came from wouldn't take her back.
"We get a call from the care home saying they closed her bed, basically kicked her out, and she's been warehoused in the hospital since," Rinke told Go Public.

Hours spent restrained and drugged, says family

Elizabeth Rinke spent the next seven months being moved around to different departments within Surrey Memorial Hospital in B.C.
Norm Rinke says her mental and physical condition deteriorated the longer she stayed. He says staff in the medical ward didn't know how to handle her psychological issues.
"Because of her paranoia, she's more comfortable seeing regular staff and a regular routine. She's been moved to five different rooms and three different buildings in the hospital, so it just agitated her even more," Norm Rinke said.
As a result, Elizabeth Rinke was chemically and physically restrained.
Norm Rinke
Norm Rinke spent months trying to get answers about his mother's care. (CBC)
Officials with the Fraser Health Authority, which runs Surrey Memorial, told Go Public Elizabeth Rinke was cared for in a unit with "staff that are trained to deal with some of the issues that older adults and seniors are facing."
Adding, when it comes to using restraints, each patient's situation is looked at individually by a team that includes a psychiatrist.
A spokesperson told CBC News that Fraser Health is a "least restraint organization" where that kind of intervention is used only as a last resort.
A study on restraint use by Canadian Institute for Health Information found patients admitted to a general hospital for mental illness were 76 per cent more likely to be restrained than those in a psychiatric hospital.​

No one in charge

Norm Rinke says he couldn't get answers from hospital officials and no one seemed to be in charge of finding an appropriate place for his mother.
"We don't know the system, so we try and work with the system but there is no communication. You feel like you're getting the run around," he said.
At one point, he says hospital officials told him his mom was on wait-lists for five different places.
Surrey Memorial Hospital
Over her seven-month stay, Elizabeth Rinke was moved between five areas and three different buildings within Surrey Memorial Hospital. (Ralph Rinke)

Patient's 'complex needs' delayed move, hospital says

According to Norm Rinke, it was only after Go Public contacted Fraser Health that the hospital said anything about moving his mother out of hospital.
The health authority told Go Public it was waiting until Elizabeth Rinke's condition stabilized before moving her.
Elizabeth Rinke's move from hospital to long term care
After a seven-month stay in Surrey Memorial hospital, Elizabeth Rinke was moved to a new residential care facility on Nov. 2. (Ralph RInke)
In a written statement to Go Public, health officials said, "We understand how hard this must be for the patient and their family. No one wants to see their family member in the hospital longer than necessary," a spokesperson for Fraser Health wrote.
"This patient came to our hospital with a medical condition that required treatment. While treating this condition, her complex care needs prevented her from being transferred back to the original facility where she lived. These needs were such that they also delayed the assessment process for the specialized support she needed in the community."
"For patients that are in hospital and awaiting placement, we need to first stabilize their medical and mental health needs to the greatest degree possible, to ensure that the right supports in the community are identified and result in a successful transition."
In the end, Elizabeth Rinke was moved before she stabilized. Two weeks ago, health officials moved her to a facility with "stabilization units" for seniors like her, and which her family says is much better suited to her care.

'Warehoused' seniors impact entire health system

Elizabeth Rinke's extended stay in a hospital was not unique, according to Debra Walko, the Director of Seniors Services for LOFT Community Services in Toronto.
The Residence at Clayton Heights residential care facility
After 7 months in hospital, Elizabeth Rinke was moved to a residential care facility for mental health patients. (Ralph Rinke)
Walko says situations like this one are happening across the country. "Research shows, especially for seniors, if they remain in the hospital longer than what their acute needs are, their health, their fragility, and all kinds of things will get worse the longer they remain in hospital," said Walko, whose organization works to find suitable support and housing for seniors with mental health issues.
She says staff in general hospital wards will resort to restraining mentally ill patients to keep everybody safe, including the patient.
However, Walko says the more those kinds of interventions are used without treating the behaviour issues associated with the psychological disorder, the harder it is to return seniors to long term care facilities that don't use restraints.
"It's nobody's fault. It's really how our system has evolved, but it has really left seniors who are living with mental health challenges out of the planning for seniors' care."
The number of seniors with mental health issues is expected to spike by 2026, according to the B.C. health ministry report Guidelines for Elderly Mental Health Care and Planning.
It found the elderly population in Elizabeth Rinke's province of B.C. will increase by more than 120 per cent in over the next three decades, faster than any other demographic.
Among those elderly, 25 per cent will have mental health issues and need support from the public healthcare system.

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With files by Jenn Blair



  • 377 Comments
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Ann Hudson
  • Ann Hudson
A nursing home will refuse to take back a patient only if there are very major problems which have severely impacted the home, its staff and the other residents. Family may be part of that problem. 
There is more to the story.
  • 1 month ago
David Conway
  • David Conway
@Ann Hudson 
 The article clearly points out that within senior care, there is a lack of total facilities, and within these facilities (lack of) there is an lack of specialized facilities
  • 1 month ago
Joan Wagman
  • Joan Wagman
@David Conway 
 She was in a specialized care facility, but as her behaviour worsens, her family appear to believe that she should not be restrained under any circumstances. What about the threat she poses to other patients and staff? 

There may be a lack of long term care beds, but this article gave up any sense of fairness or nuance when it went straight for the outrage factor instead of providing facts.
  • 1 month ago
Martin Clark
  • Martin Clark
@Ann Hudson 

Nothing here to suggest the family is to blame 

The more to the story is that there is a lack of suitable care facilities for the aging population.
  • 1 month ago
David Conway
  • David Conway
@Joan Wagman 
 Read the section: 'Warehoused' seniors impact entire health system
  • 1 month ago
Barbara Tomas
  • Barbara Tomas
@Martin Clark The concept of "blame" is tricky, and I agree that family should not be "blamed", but this story is very one-sided and gives very little detail on reasons for the lady's treatment. Restraints, whether chemical or physical, are not pretty, but they are often necessary.
  • 1 month ago
Erika Kreis
  • Erika Kreis
@Ann Hudson We can't blame the patient for her mental health issues. There are many like her and the "system" has to find a way to work with these people (of all ages) in more than a medical way. If we need psychiatric senior facilities, then so be it. They can't be more expensive than a hospital ward!
  • 1 month ago
Cindy Fordyce
  • Cindy Fordyce
@Ann Hudson 

Care homes refuse to take back patients for variety of reasons - most often because they can't or won't deal with any increase in care
  • 1 month ago
R. Gabrielle Berry
  • R. Gabrielle Berry
@Ann Hudson 
 So, what is society supposed to do with these people? 
It depends on what's wrong with them, right? 
But if there were "major problems" that "severely impacted the home", I'm thinking these problems were more than likely psychiatric. 
 This suggests that there needs to be a separate long-term facility for persons with psychiatric disorders (not dementia eg Alzheimers). 
This group would never fit into home care.
  • 1 month ago
marianne stevens
  • marianne stevens
@Ann Hudson A Nursing Home will refuse to take back a patient if their Auntie Joan is on the board, if their grandchild skipped school, if the patient in the next bed complained of her sneezing. These are snake beds of incompetent, small community frogs bloated with self-important croaks. They care about budgets, gossip, rumours & innuendo & have no skills with nursing or medical care. (Would you really want a "nurse" who could do no better than Long Term Care or a "Nursing" Home?
  • Robert Hagman
My wife, Kate, had a debilitating stroke 4 1/2 years ago that left her invalid and confused. She has been in Care now for about 2 1/2 years. My observations over this period, based on daily visits lasting several hours is that there are insufficient staff and very few programmes that offer some form of mental and physical stimulation. 
 In the result, people for the most part simply sit and doze in their chairs and deteriorate more quickly than they would otherwise if programmes and activities were provided. 
In short, we are indeed 'warehousing' this most vulnerable population and contributing to their decline - a sad commentary on the priorities of our political leaders who allow this to happen!« less
  • 1 month ago
Shirley Fourney
  • Shirley Fourney
@Robert Hagman i agree with you 100%. A few years ago I moved my mother to this province because she was being "beaten up" in an Ottawa seniors residence. She lived in a nursing home here for 6 years where I visited her every day at mealtime to feed her. "Insufficient staff" is an understatement. 2 aides to feed and put 40 residents to bed all of whom are in wheelchairs would be the norm during some parts of the month and over holidays. A sad commentary indeed!
  • 1 month ago
Donna Harrison
  • Donna Harrison
@Shirley Fourney : Unless and until the government offers more money for more facilities, with sufficient staff to handle the various ailments of the physically and mentally frail seniors, this problem will remain a thorn in everyone's side. 
Action is required now. There always seems to be enough money for things the government considers "essential". 
I guess they don't consider the seniors as "essential" enough to warrant the proper care they deserve.
  • 1 month ago
Robert Loblaw
  • Robert Loblaw
@Robert Hagman 

I thank you whole heartedly for your input. 

I applaud your devotion.
  • 1 month ago
Robert Loblaw
  • Robert Loblaw
@Donna Harrison 

and how much to the executives/managers of these facilities earn?
  • 1 month ago


  • Moe Liddle
I empathize with this family so much. We have a family member with Alzheimers and finally had to admit her to a care facility. The first one she was in, was in our town and it used to be one of the best in Ontario. It has assisted living apartments and a 24hr care ward. Elderly couples can live together and if one needs more care, they are still close by. There was 2 year waiting list to get in. Then the county allow it to be PRIVATIZED. It is now a dump, literally. They are grossly under-staffed, and the staff they do have are over-worked and under paid. The 24hr care ward smells like an outhouse, they have 4 patients to a room meant for 2 and the food is disgusting. We moved her to a county run nursing home in a nearby home asap, where she has her own room (just a shared bath) and her own furniture, pictures, etc. The place is immaculate and the staff are fantastic! Incredibly, the cost is the same as the dump we took her out of! Why are we selling out Seniors' Care Facilities to huge, money grubbing companies that could care less about the people under their care or their staff? These are our parents, our aunts and uncles, our brother's and sisters and this is being allowed to happen all over the country! The Liberals need to impose very strict regulations of care on private facilities and declare a moratorium on further privatization because it ISN'T WORKING!« less
  • 1 month ago
Henri Bianchi
  • Henri Bianchi
@Moe Liddle 

My mother, 96 years old, next to deaf without her hearing aid and very frail, but with all her marbles, was physically assaulted by one of the staff in her nursing home, which was run by the city. Not by the private sector, but by the city. 

We asked for an investigation after speaking to her and seeing the bruises. The photos were not pretty. 

Apparently this had not been the first incident involving this employee, and the home already had been keeping an eye on her. 

They fired her, and the union (CUPE) grieved. The end result was that the individual was reinstated, but was told to stay off my mother`s floor. 

This tells me two things. 

First, it does not matter whether you are talking about a private sector home or one run by the government, abuse is going to happen. 

Second, despite all the blah blah from CUPE about patient care, it has no problems defending members who assault vulnerable elderly women.« less
  • 1 month ago
Peggy Heath
  • Peggy Heath
@Moe Liddle - In her book Nickel and Dimed published in 2001, Barbara Ehrenreich referred to a report issued in 2000 by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services that had found most nursing homes dangerously understaffed, especially profit-making nursing homes. 

Sixteen years later, and assuming recent media reports on the inadequate level of staffing in Ontario homes for seniors is accurate, shouldn't this prompt us to ask as a first question: Why? 

Can it be that the pool of unemployed people is so small that there just aren't any people available for employment? No. 

Is it because even among the unemployed no-one wants to do this kind of work which is different only in kind and training from nursing? Unlikely. 

Are the people living in poverty on the street incapable of even the simplest paid tasks to give them a toehold on the employment ladder? I don't know the answer to that one. 

Or is it simply that hiring sufficient numbers of people to properly staff these residences cuts too painfully into profits, as was found 16 years ago in the United States? If the answer to that question is 'yes' then maybe it's time to legislate an adequate, as opposed to merely basic, number of staff and the number of daily hours per staff member per resident to ensure owners and operators understand - what they have apparently failed to work out for themselves - exactly what it is the public requires of them; i.e. safe, comfortable, compassionate care for society's elderly. 

Why would any government think profit was not the bottom line in any profit-making industry? 

The problem then becomes, of course, where would cuts be made in other areas in seniors' homes? Meals? Laundry? Who knows - but cuts will certainly be made elsewhere. A no-win situation in fact.« less
  • 1 month ago
Peggy Heath
  • Peggy Heath
@Henri Bianchi - and the worst part of that story is that although you have managed to protect your mother from future abuse by that 'carer' (good for you!) she is now free to transfer her vicious behaviour to other defenceless people who may not have families to defend them or have families that can't be bothered. 

The problem doesn't go away; it just moves on . . .
  • 1 month ago
Jeannette Llody
  • Jeannette Llody
@Moe Liddle If anyone wants to see what privatized health care would look like, go work for a privately run nursing home...it's all about the money honey. Understaffed all the time and no coverage when someone does call in sick or take a vacation day, so that one RPN and PSW are left caring for 60+ patients. Every corner is cut and yet the family gets nickled and dimed for all sorts of "services" that really should be part of regular care.
  • 1 month ago
Lynn Rivers
  • Lynn Rivers
@Peggy Heath you obviously do not understand these types of illnesses. The mother is not transferring "vicious behaviour" - the disease is doing this and an appropriate mix of meds that allow the parent some dignity yet keep her and the others safe is a good start. Again, someone who appears to know it all as an expert yet really doesn't get it.
  • 1 month ago
mo bennett
  • mo bennett
@Moe Liddle greed kills. literally.
  • 1 month ago
John Gerrits
  • John Gerrits
Ahhh.....golden years


This junk occurs in Alberta and it is because there aren't suitable placements for complex care patients. It's the strategy of the former PC government and the current NDPC government. We won't get change because even Team Trudeau is looking for ways to cut the costs of senior care. No one cares about seniors because they are powerless and can't get their voices heard.
It's always been strange to me that we're supposed to have rights until we become sick or in a hospital/ continuing care facility. Why don't patients and residents in continuing care have legislated patient / resident rights? Because the PCs and the NDPCs don't want them to have these rights. Too much bother for the GOA.
The family of an 86-year-old says that after living successfully in a home for seniors with similar physical and psychological problems for years, she was 'kicked out'…
CBC.CA
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