Saturday, February 18, 2017

Hansard Summary – Continuing Care, Health & Seniors Week of May 6 - 9, 2013

This was the situation with the Tories:

Hansard Summary – Continuing Care, Health & Seniors Week of May 6 - 9, 2013 May 6th Funding for Dementia and Alzheimer’s Patient Care Ms Smith: Mr. Speaker, they’re doing this again, trying to save money on the backs of the most vulnerable Albertans. This time it’s Alzheimer’s and dementia patients. The government claims that their new centralized outcomes-based funding approach is better for patients, but in practice it is taking front-line resources and staffing away from patients with dementia and Alzheimer’s. When the CEO of the Bethany care centre, that operates a number of facilities across Alberta, calls it a perverse system, will the Premier acknowledge her government might have made a mistake? The Speaker: The hon. associate minister. Mr. VanderBurg: Well, thank you, Mr. Speaker. The fact of the matter is that the patient-based funding, what the member is talking about, assesses the patients with Alberta Health Services to make sure that the funding goes to the patient in the right space at the right time. There are many instances where we can show that there are reductions of funding, and there are many instances where we can show that there are increases in funding. The whole premise behind this policy is that those in need will get the services, and the funding will follow. Ms Smith: Mr. Speaker, that’s not what’s happening. Front-line worker positions are being cut in facilities with some very high needs patients because the funding model is biased against patients with dementia and those who are in end-of-life care. In Cochrane, for example, where there was a huge protest this past weekend, 13 aides and LPNs have been laid off, and other staff have had their hours reduced. How does that make patient care outcomes better? Mr. VanderBurg: Mr. Speaker, like I said in the first set of answers, Alberta Health Services’ intention is to make the process responsible and responsive to the needs of the patient. There are cases that will fall through the cracks, and Alberta Health Services will review those. I’ll say that if any of those circumstances arise, I encourage the people to raise these issues with Alberta Health Services directly, right at the site. Ms Smith: Mr. Speaker, these are dementia and Alzheimer’s patients, who can’t speak up for themselves. The outcome we should be demanding for these patients is compassion. If the minister won’t give us the right answer, will the Premier agree to reassess the complex formula for funding and make the necessary changes to ensure that all patients get the care that they need? Ms Redford: Mr. Speaker, in fact, the reason that we now have the system in place is because we have reassessed the formula for funding. Patient-centred funding ensures that the supports are there for patients and their families. In some cases that means that in structures and in organizations, if you actually take a personal interest in advocating on behalf of patients and families, staffing structures will change. That may affect staff, but it doesn’t affect patients. Funding for Dementia and Alzheimer’s Patient Care (continued) Mrs. Towle: Mary is 85 years old. She has dementia. She needs help with eating and going to the bathroom, she needs nine medications a day, she’s frail, and she’s in a wheelchair. She lives in continuing care. Now, because of the government’s new funding model for seniors’ care, Mary is going to suffer. AHS has determined that patients like Mary can’t meet the so-called outcomes and are therefore not entitled to the same level of care they used to have. Facilities that care for Mary are already laying off staff. To the Associate Minister of Seniors. It appears that this new funding model is leaving vulnerable Alzheimer’s and dementia patients behind. Why? Mr. VanderBurg: Mr. Speaker, Albertans need to know and have confidence in their publicly funded health care system, that it’s there and it’s going to be there to respond to the needs of Mary, your constituent that you raised. Listen. At any time the province takes care of vulnerable people. We know that there are people like Mary around. We have caring, loving, dedicated staff that make sure that she doesn’t fall through the cracks. [interjection] Sir, this lady will be taken care of. The Speaker: The hon. member. Mrs. Towle: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Given that the new AHS funding model is supposed to provide greater levels of care for patients with high needs, can you please explain how patients like Mary, who have dementia and need help getting dressed, washing up, and using the bathroom, are having their care hours decreased? Mr. VanderBurg: Mr. Speaker, we talked about this a bit earlier. The patient funding model will respond to the needs. As the needs change, the responses will change. You can be assured that there will be patients that have fewer hours of service, and there will be patients that will have more hours of service. It will depend on the care plan, and it’ll depend on the assessment given by the caregivers at each individual site. Mrs. Towle: Unfortunately, those caregivers won’t be there at each individual site. Given that Alzheimer’s and dementia patients have apparently been left behind by this Alberta Health Services funding model, will the Associate Minister of Seniors please commit to reviewing the model so that the very unique and very intensive needs of these patients and their families are addressed and not ignored? Mr. VanderBurg: Mr. Speaker, as we age and as the demographics change in this province, we’re going to have an increase in higher levels of care throughout the province. This is part of the reason why the Premier and our government have committed to building more spaces across this province. Every one of the new spaces that we’re talking about announcing in June or July will have care for dementia patients. Every one of those places will have opportunities for couples to age in place. Is it enough? Is it fast enough? No, it’s not. We’re getting there. May 7th Care for Dementia Patients Ms Smith: Mr. Speaker, just as we hear of dementia facilities reducing staff, a fatality inquiry report released Monday is recommending more care for those with dementia. Eighty-four year-old dementia patient William Buckley, who lived in the Health minister’s constituency, choked on a paper napkin in 2010, apparently thinking it was food. Mr. Buckley was being looked after by a caring staff, a registered nurse, and health care aides supervised mealtimes, but even with all that care Mr. Buckley got into trouble. How can families of dementia patients in other facilities feel secure now that they see that staffing levels are going down? Mr. Horne: Well, Mr. Speaker, this is a very tragic situation. While I have not reviewed the fatality report in detail, I am aware of most of the recommendations. This report dealt with the unfortunate death of a gentleman in a specific facility at a specific point in time under a specific set of circumstances. There are some comments in the report that talk about benefits from making the system simpler to understand for residents’ families and families pursuing other options. But there is absolutely no basis to conclude from the report that there is a widespread issue with respect to the care of dementia patients in this province. Ms Smith: Mr. Speaker, Judge Wheatley actually said that the funding for dementia patients is a mess. He wrote that despite the best efforts of an expert who testified, “a comprehension of this funding system was impossible to understand and one wonders how healthcare professionals. . .on the front line can possibly bring understanding and logic to this system.” Will the minister accept Judge Wheatley’s recommendation to create a comprehensible system so that the public can understand how facilities get funding? Mr. Horne: Well, Mr. Speaker, I will agree with the hon. member to a very limited extent. There is certainly always room to improve in making our system easier to understand for Albertans. Many of us are assisting mothers or fathers or other loved ones to navigate the continuing care system, a very good system I might add, and to find the placement that works best for them. But there is absolutely nothing in this report, which, again, is a report based on a situation in 2010, that would lead me to conclude that we have anything but the best possible approach to funding for continuing care. We use patient-based funding in Alberta in 2013. This system matches financial resources to the specific needs of the resident, and that includes the staffing support that resident receives. Ms Smith: Mr. Speaker, the government’s approach to assessing long-term care patients and having funding follow them is sound in theory, but in practice people with dementia are rated lower than other patients and now get less funding and less care. Judge Wheatley said this. “It is obvious that no sufficient research has been done in this field especially in the area of geriatric or dementia nursing situations.” He was told that the Alberta Health Quality Council should be asked to undertake research to determine proper staffing levels. Will the minister commit to act on this recommendation? Mr. Horne: Mr. Speaker, we are continually working to improve continuing care in this province. It seems to me that public policy that is soundly based on matching financial and staffing resources to the needs of specific residents is in the interests of those residents and the families and the communities that are served by them. The hon. member is attempting to make generalizations based on a report on a specific fatality incident, a very unfortunate incident, in 2010. I suggest she try to understand what the system in 2013 consists of, and perhaps then we can have a discussion. Long-term Care Staffing Ratios Mr. Mason: Thanks very much, Mr. Speaker. Well, as we’ve already heard, a public fatality report into the death of a dementia patient in long-term care found that staffing levels are insufficient and instructed that the province look into staff-patient ratios. This is not addressed by the moneyfollowing-the-patient policy that the government is talking about. Since a damning Auditor General’s report in 2007 the NDP has been calling for action on this issue, and for those years the government has ignored this basic aspect of caring for our seniors. My question is to the Premier. Why has the government failed Alberta seniors by refusing to take action on adequate staffing in long-term care? Mr. Horne: Mr. Speaker, no doubt what the hon. member would have us do is to regulate staffing ratios for all residents in Alberta and be completely indifferent to the very large number of people that require care above that level in order to adequately meet their needs. The hon. member has access to this information. He can see clearly the paid hours that are allocated for long-term care supportive living level 4, dementia, which is the subject of this question, and the other levels of care that are provided in these facilities. Again, the hon. member would do well to look at what we’re doing today in continuing care, and I’m sure he would realize that it’s a patient- and resident-centred approach. The Speaker: The hon. leader. Mr. Mason: Thank you very much, Mr. Speaker. Well, I have, but both the Auditor General and the justice in this inquiry talked about the need for minimum staffing levels, and that’s not accomplished by the government policy. Last weekend Albertans in Cochrane rallied against patient based funding, which this minister seems to think is the solution, but facilities like the one where this senior died are the ones that have suffered the most from his new formula, that has cost them the most staff. What’s he going to do about that? Mr. Horne: Well, Mr. Speaker, you know, herein lies the basic difference in philosophy between the hon. member and this government. We believe that public health care dollars need to be allocated based on the needs of the residents and patients that we serve in the health care system, and we believe that residents in continuing care facilities deserve no less than that. [interjections] It calls for a higher level of sophistication in this debate than to simply revert to the policies of the 1960s and ’70s to only provide one level of care for outpatients and to regulate or legislate the nature of the care that should be provided. These are individual residents. They are supported by families and staff in the local communities that serve them. This was a very unfortunate situation, and we certainly feel for the family, but the facts are the facts. [interjections] The Speaker: Let’s continue without the interjections, please, Edmonton-Calder – thank you – Edmonton-Centre, and Edmonton Strathcona over the last few minutes. Let’s carry on. Leader of the New Democrat opposition, your third question. Mr. Mason: Thank you very much, Mr. Speaker. Well, it’s unfortunate that the Premier doesn’t care enough to get up and answer these questions. This government can’t be trusted to protect our seniors. This government can’t be trusted to provide our seniors with the kind of care they deserve. This government can’t be trusted to build long-term care beds for our seniors. To the Premier: will this government start rebuilding trust with Alberta seniors and commit to finally legislating staff ratios in long-term care facilities? The Speaker: A point of order has been noted by the Government House Leader at 2:10.The hon. minister. Mr. Horne: Thank you very much, Mr. Speaker. Well, there is no greater defender of seniors in this province than the Premier of this province. Until recently no one has shown a greater interest than the Premier of this province in actually matching the resources that we have available to serve a growing number of seniors, some of whom have very, very high care needs.We will continue in our commitment to open 1,000 new continuing care spaces per year across the province. We’re on track to reach our goal of 5,300 over five years. All of those beds can accommodate all levels of care, including those with dementia May 8th Assisted Living Facilities in Brooks Ms Smith: Well, Mr. Speaker, let me start by acknowledging the efforts of the Minister of Health. I understand the couple in Crowsnest Pass that I spoke about last month will be permitted to stay together in the same seniors’ facility. Today I hope he will address major issues in two seniors’ care facilities in Brooks. Carla Buckler told us about often finding her grandfather sitting in a soaked diaper and getting bruised from being moved too roughly from his recliner to his wheelchair and her grandmother being fed poor quality meals such as half a hot dog and a brown banana. This is elder abuse. Why are there no consequences? Mr. Horne: Well, Mr. Speaker, let me say, first of all, that there are certainly very serious consequences in this province for individuals who neglect or otherwise mistreat seniors. The hon. member should know that she has an obligation, as does any other Albertan, to report suspicions or evidence of such inappropriate treatment under the Protection for Persons in Care Act, and I won’t take the House’s time to enlighten her as to what that process is. What I will say is that I am concerned about the situation in Brooks. It was first brought to my attention today in a news release, and I’ve taken immediate steps to ensure that there is an inspection of both facilities forthwith. Ms Smith: This is precisely what we’re doing, Mr. Speaker, bringing it to the attention of the minister. Here is what Tia Crapo told us about care in one of these facilities in Brooks. My dad was found on the floor, in his vomit, with not one person aware of when he was last checked on. When admitted to the hospital, weak, severely dehydrated, suffering with a urine infection, and several bed sores, the doctors were shocked at the state he was in and did not think he would survive the night. Why do these kinds of things happen without the minister intervening and holding anyone responsible? Mr. Horne: Mr. Speaker, first of all, as I said, the information that’s been brought forward with respect to the two facilities in Brooks will be followed up. Those facilities are inspected on a regular basis, as are all facilities in the province regardless of whether they’re publicly operated, private, or not-forprofit operations. But, Mr. Speaker, this hon. member is teetering on the verge of something that is very serious. If she is alleging that there has been abuse or neglect of residents in these facilities, she or anyone else who has knowledge has a responsibility to report that under the appropriate legislation. Ms Smith: Mr. Speaker, they’ve reported it. It’s been ignored, and now the minister needs to step in and do something about it. You’ve already been introduced to several people in the galleries affected by unacceptable care and lax enforcement of existing standards. An Hon. Member: Fearmongering. Ms Smith: Well, maybe the hon. member would like to go hear the stories himself if he thinks it’s fearmongering. They have many more heart-wrenching stories about neglect, lack of attention, horrible food, and ignored requests. The families and the caregivers have come here today to the Legislature to seek action. What is the minister going to do about it? Mr. Horne: We, in fact, have tremendous compassion for any Alberta resident or family that would find themselves in such circumstances, and we have taken the appropriate steps. The hon. member’s constituents and community representatives should be commended for coming to the Legislature today to express their concerns. What would not be forgivable, Mr. Speaker, is a politicization of this issue. As I’ve said, the processes are in place. I’ve asked for an immediate inspection of both facilities. If there are concerns with regard to abuse or neglect, I’m sure the hon. member knows how to handle that. Assisted Living Facilities in Brooks (continued) Mrs. Towle: Heartbreaking stories about mistreatment and neglect of our seniors have been heard from all over the province. In Brooks Hilda Bunney fell one night, and her head went through a wall. Hilda lay there for hours. The call bell didn’t work. She suffered steam burns, fractured vertebrae, and two hematomas to her brain. No one called a nurse or an ambulance. This is not fearmongering. The family wrote letters to the ministry. The family made a complaint under the Protection for Persons in Care Act in 2011, and the RCMP will not investigate. When will the minister take action and end elder abuse in Alberta? Mr. Horne: Well, Mr. Speaker, we take all allegations of elder abuse extremely seriously, and this government, I believe, has proven that in response to any member on any side of this House who has brought forward a concern about a constituent or wanted to represent a constituent’s family. We will take these concerns equally seriously. As I’ve said, I’ve ordered an immediate inspection of both facilities. We do not believe these are widespread issues across our province – and I want to be very clear about that – but one incident is too many, and we’ll continue to take aggressive action. Mrs. Towle: This is not one incident, Minister. Given that under the Protection for Persons in Care Act you, the minister, can launch your own investigation when “a report of serious abuse has been made about a service provider” and given that the horrifying stories of friends and family of AgeCare residents here today have already been provided to you, will the Minister of Health launch an investigation immediately into these AgeCare facilities? Mr. Horne: Mr. Speaker, as with any similar situation, we will look at the information that is presented, and we will take immediate action to investigate the complaints. Mrs. Towle: That’s great because they’re here today, and they’d love to meet with you right after QP, and they can go through their complaints with you.Given that this ministry and the protections for persons in care and the RCMP are not able to protect seniors in our system, will the minister tell the families who are here today why this would be unacceptable if it was a daycare or an education facility, but you find it completely acceptable to do this to our seniors? Mr. Horne: Mr. Speaker, this is really crossing a line. We take these allegations extremely seriously, and as members across this House can attest from their own experience, any time an allegation has been brought forward, we have investigated, and we have taken the appropriate action. It would be completely improper for me as minister to stand here and to draw or to speculate on conclusions resulting from the information that’s just been presented. We will take this matter as seriously as we take the circumstance of any other senior in this province. Assisted Living Facilities in Brooks (continued) Mrs. Forsyth: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Today we’ve heard some very sad stories about what’s happening in our province to our seniors. Minister, the family is here today. They’ve gone through all the processes of the Protection for Persons in Care Act and complained to the RCMP. Will you meet with them after question period? Mr. Horne: Mr. Speaker, we will handle this situation the way we would handle a situation brought forward by any member of this House. We will look into the complaints that have been made. We will look at the history of the complaints under the Protection for Persons in Care Act and through correspondence, and we will get back directly to the families about the concerns they’ve raised. The Speaker: The hon. member. Mrs. Forsyth: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Minister, we have some employees who worked at the care centre who have lost their jobs. Would you be willing to meet with them? They complained through the correct processes, and they’ve lost their jobs since. Would you meet with them? Mr. Horne: Mr. Speaker, as I said, I ordered an immediate inspection under the continuing care health standards and the continuing care accommodation standards into these two facilities. As the hon. member knows and as the families know, there are processes, and they have obviously availed themselves of those processes. I will look into the status of the complaints that have been made, and once we’ve had an opportunity to consider the facts and all the circumstances, we’ll get back to them with a response. Mrs. Forsyth: Minister, we have staff up in the gallery who currently work for the facility that we’re complaining about. They’re concerned about losing their jobs. Will you guarantee that they will not lose their jobs? Mr. Horne: Mr. Speaker, this is a most unusual way to have concerns presented on behalf of constituents. What we will do is what I have laid out with respect to the standards in the facilities and with respect to the complaints that have been filed. I do not believe that any employee in any facility in this province has to or should need to fear for their job as a result of advocating for the people they care for. I stand by that, and that will continue to be the case. Members’ Statements Assisted Living Facilities in Brooks Mr. Hale: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Seated in the gallery today are a group of brave individuals who travelled all the way up from Brooks to get this government’s attention on an issue that is near and dear to their hearts. They are here to talk about the quality of care their loved ones, patients, are receiving while living in facilities that are supposed to be regulated and supervised by the government. They shared their stories with the media earlier today, and they are truly heartbreaking to hear. I won’t go into too much detail, Mr. Speaker, but here is a sampling. A lady told us about the care in the same facilities in 2011. She said that her mother was hospitalized after she had fallen in a hallway. The staff did not call for an ambulance but, instead, waited until the next day when her mother could not get out of bed. She suffered a cracked kneecap and torn ligaments as well as facial bruising. She was hospitalized for six weeks. She now requires a walker, something she didn’t require prior to her fall. Why do these kinds of things happen without the minister intervening and holding anyone responsible? This is just one story of dozens that have transpired in these facilities. Even staff at the facilities have been afraid to speak out for fear of reprisal. Some have been terminated for voicing their concerns, and others can’t take it anymore. That’s why they’re here. Their concerns and stories have been made known to the government through the proper channels, through contact with elected officials, and even through official complaints under the Protection for Persons in Care Act dating back to 2011. They are not getting anywhere. They are not here to point fingers, Mr. Speaker. They’re here for answers. They’re here to demand action. They’re here because they have nowhere else left to go. This government is tasked with ensuring basic standards for quality of care and is failing these people that they love. I applaud their courage, and I’m proud to stand with them in demanding answers and actions. We will be at your office shortly, Mr. Health Minister, to give you another formal complaint and to get your assurance that you will investigate the employees who were terminated, who brought their concerns forward, and assure the employees who are here that they will not be terminated for speaking out. Continuing Care Facilities Mrs. Leskiw: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Yesterday the Associate Minister of Seniors and I along with mayors and reeves in my constituency announced the opening of the new Points West Living in my constituency. Every Albertan regardless of age or circumstances should have a place they are proud to call home. But welcoming spaces like this don’t just happen. They are built, supported, and maintained by committed staff, loving families, visionary leaders, and an engaged community. All of those have certainly come together at Points West Living. Here the residents are able to receive the care and the support they need and continue thriving in the community. The Alberta government is proud to be a partner in this facility. This new supportive living centre will add 42 new designated supportive living spaces in Cold Lake. An additional 10 spaces will be independent living spaces. The facility will provide new, modern, homelike accommodations and expanded supportive living options. We are pleased to provide $3.7 million to the affordable supportive living initiative to support this project. We remain committed to increasing the supply of affordable supportive living spaces for Alberta’s seniors and vulnerable people. Within the past two years alone we partnered with voluntary and private providers to open more than 2,100 continuing care spaces province-wide. These spaces allow more seniors to get the care they need closer to home while staying connected to their families, friends, and communities. This is a priority for Albertans and is a priority for our government. Congratulations on the opening of Points West in Cold Lake. Thank you, Mr. Speaker. May 9th Acute-care Services in Consort Mr. Strankman: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. In 2011 the government temporarily shut down acute-care beds in Consort because of lack of physician services. The bed closure was only supposed to be temporary, but months turned into years. It looks like another broken government promise. I raised this issue in March, and the Associate Minister of Seniors assured me that the government would work with the community to get this facility reopened. To the minister: what has been done since March to make sure Consort will get back those acute-care beds they deserve? Mr. Horne: Well, Mr. Speaker, what Alberta Health Services is doing in Consort is what they are doing with many communities across the province that face similar challenges in recruiting physicians. As the hon. member would know, it is a challenge in some communities to provide physicians with sufficient work to interest them in full-time practice and, ideally, full-time residence in those communities. That work will continue as it continues in other parts of the province. Mr. Strankman: Mr. Speaker, given that the reason for the temporary closure was a lack of doctors and given that the people of Consort went out and successfully found these physicians who want to work and live in the community and succeeded where this government has failed, why does the minister continue to stonewall the people and leave them in the dark instead of giving them these acute-care beds? Mr. Horne: Well, Mr. Speaker, the decision around matching physician supply with the ability to open acute-care beds is more complex, of course, than simply the availability of physicians. There are many other support staff that are needed. Of course, there are considerations around quality and safety. I know that this is a priority, as it is in many other communities across the province. We have to do our best to match the services that are required with the resources that are available both in terms of facilities and physicians, and we’ll continue to work with the people of Consort. Mr. Strankman: Mr. Minister, will you commit today for the people of Consort to a clear and acute timeline for when these acute-care beds could be reopened? Mr. Horne: Well, Mr. Speaker, what I will do is that I will look into the matter with Alberta Health Services and see if I can get any further update on the status of this. But as the hon. member would understand, there are a number of factors to be considered. It is heartening to hear, as I’ve heard before, about the willingness and the interest and the hard work of the people in the community to have those acute-care beds open and to have physicians to staff them. We’ll continue to work with them to try to make that happen

This is the situation now with the NDP folks:

Cold Lake seniors care facility being investigated after resident dies in hospital

Published on: February 16, 2017 | Last Updated: February 16, 2017 4:35 PM MST
Alberta Health Services is reviewing an assisted living facility in Cold Lake after an elderly woman who was removed from the residence later died in hospital.
Any recommendations resulting from the review will be implemented, Timothy Wilson, a spokesman for Alberta Health, said in an emailed statement, which also expressed condolences to the woman’s family.
A labour dispute has left seniors’ care workers locked out of the facility since Dec. 16. The family of Olga Penner, who died in a Cold Lake hospital earlier this month, and the Alberta Union of Provincial Employees have raised concerns about the quality of care provided by the replacement workers.
Penner, who was 85 and suffering from Alzheimer’s disease, was removed from Points West Living by her family and taken by ambulance to hospital just days before she died.
Following Penner’s death and complaints from the family, AHS launched an investigation. Since then, all the residents have been given a full physical assessment by a registered nurse and nurses are currently at the facility reviewing the care residents are receiving. Members of AHS senior leadership have also visited the facility every day.
In the statement, Wilson said the government and AHS will act on the recommendations and “expects the facility to do the same.”
Penner originally moved to the facility in November, before the lockout, and her family said the care she received originally was “great.”

Julie Ali ·
This situation is very similar to what happened to my sister at another care facility--the Good Samaritan Extended Care at Millwoods in Edmonton. After a long delay and many complaints by families, there were three audits done (Quality Audit, Respiratory Review, Continuing Care Health Services Standards audit). We also had two validated Protection for Persons in Care abuse cases.

These investigations showed that care standards were not being met. For example there were care plans that were missing or years out of date. Like this case, patients had to be reasssesed by AHS. Why? Frankly, monitoring and enforcement by Alberta Health is currently ineffectual, occurring, after the fact.

Why is it that families have to be the watchdogs for the system? Why do families have to raise the alarm so that investigations are initiated? Why can't we have effective monitoring and enforcement instead of reactive governance? The government needs to do better and there needs to be real penalties for non-compliances. Rather than expressing condolences and having daily visits by AHS senior leadership- after deaths---why isn't the government dealing with the problems of the continuing care system proactively?
LikeReply5Feb 16, 2017 11:18pmEdited
Brenda Johnston
When is Alberta Health going to wake up and regulate these care facilities, penalize them for any infractions, and ensure that proper nursing care and staffing levels are provided?! Privatization of care of our vulnerable has resulted in a profit over people situation that lines the pockets of CEOs and shareholders like Points West Living. Hospital beds are full of residents who could be cared for in their own residence facility if these facilities were forced to comply to standards of care. Enough is enough!
LikeReply5Feb 16, 2017 4:21pm
Toni Seerden
It sounds good in theory but Alzheimers opens up a whole new can of worms. Assistance and supervision are usually required to an escalating degree. It's very sad.
LikeReplyFeb 16, 2017 6:07pm
Brenda Johnston
Toni Seerden to my knowledge there are designated dementia units which in my humble opinion should be staffed with nurses and care personnel trained specifically in dementia care. It's a complex and degenerative condition to be sure, and acute care is holding many of these patients awaiting the proper facilities. The placement process is slow and many of these patients wait for months in an acute care setting for an appropriate placement. The system is broken. For profit elder care is a big problem in care levels and staffing for the safety of patients. The placement process is overloaded and logjammed at a central placement office, delaying proper placement often so long that the patient condition deteriorates and must be reassessed for another level of care. Social supports for patients also many times must be accessed in order to afford the high costs of elder care, acute care facilities carry the burden of these wait times while the placement agencies cross their 'T's and dot their 'I's and many times encounter opposition from families who will not accept a placement option for their loved one. The hoarded are at the gate with our aging population, and we must perfect these processes now.
LikeReply6Feb 16, 2017 6:27pm
Karen Olivier
hire a lawyer dear people. You will win.
UnlikeReply7Feb 16, 2017 9:04pm

More coverage of Ms. Penner's death. So very sad. Points West Living locked out its regular employees in Cold Lake just before Christmas. The serious decline in quality care under scab replacement workers has families rightfully worried. What's it going to take to end this lockout?#ColdLakeLockout
"Olga Penner originally moved to the facility in November, before the lockout, and her family said the care she received originally was 'great.'"

Alberta Health Services is reviewing an assisted living facility in Cold Lake after an elderly woman who was removed from the residence later died in hospital.

LikeShow more reactions
Patricia Kerr O AHS will prob think all is ok! They think we are only deserving of 1.2% increase.they need to do our work and see if they continue to feel the same way!
Linda Feland-Swityk I think you are thinking of the previous government
Julie Ali Linda Feland-Swityk There is no difference between the previous government and this one except this one is better at pretending to care for the most defenceless citizens in the continuing care system. It won't be long before citizens wake up to the fact that this government has made no changes in the continuing care system but has instead continued with the same failed policies of the last government with respect to seniors. Very troubling record.
LikeReply4 mins
Sharon McGaughey Would like to read this but Journal wants me to subscribe. Please don't post on FB if everyone can't access. ;(
Julie Jacques Weird I am not a subscriber but I can read it.
Ida Lofstrand I read the whole article without subscribing to anything
Merryn Edwards Here's the original article from the Cold Lake Sun
Sharon McGaughey Thanks this works. Very sad about the lockout tactics of the facility and the consequences.
Wendy Rudiger So sad and unnecessary. ...can someone prove to me private care homes are good?? These vulnerable folks and the loving regular caregivers deserve our support.
Tamara Le I personally know this woman and her family VERY well and if this is true i am extremely angry it got to this point I am also a nurse and no patient should go without proper care because of a political disagreement this makes me sick 😢😡
Dot Smith Politics over life - sad 
Linda Feland-Swityk And people in that area still want to support WRP. They would cut health care even more
Julie Ali The NDP have not provided us any changes have they? So we will vote Wildrose to ensure change happens. If it takes several political party changes to ensure we get the right care for vulnerable seniors then I guess this is what we have to do. I mean the NDP haven't stopped private continuing care have they? The Villa Marguerite long term care project went through and that is entirely private. “We are very appreciative of the Alberta Government’s support and commitment to meet the needs of seniors,” said Al Jina, President of Park Place Seniors Living. The addition of 99 long-term care beds will help create an exciting campus of care, incorporating a “neighbourhood design” which is best practice in residential care.”

Al Jina, President and owner, Park Place Seniors Living
In 2015, Park Place Seniors Living was awarded a $6.3-million grant towards the project after a successful submission to the Affordable Supportive Living Initiative.

The contractor for the project is Edmonton’s Chandos Construction.

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Stephanie Cavanagh Shame on Points West for being more concerned about profits and not people!
Leah Hanasyk Family's really need to speak up and do it clearly and loudly
Julie Ali When we speak we are sued. Families have been banned and cannot see loved ones. One man in Alberta has been banned from all AHS sites. This sort of retribution is well known to the Elder Advocates of Alberta Society. The GOA does not publish non-compliances in care but does publish accommodation non-compliances unlike in Ontario. This means the public just doesn't know the extent of the problems in long term care and other sites. Why is this? Could it be that the GOA doesn't want the public to know of problems? Without the help of AUPE, families are helpless and are unable to publicly declare problems without retribution.
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Anne King This goes on a lot more at privatized facilities than people realize Families pay big money for family members to be there and are continually worked short staffed
Julie Ali Short staffing is the least of the problems at these places. If you do speak of the problems publicly they sue you.
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Shirlene Omiunu Yes - I see short staff problems every day. What surprises me is the lack of family intervention. I guess its easier for them not to notice - because I have yet to see a family speak up. Or maybe the nursing homes just hide the disagreements away?
Julie Ali You get banned if you speak publicly and can't see your family member. You will only find out the problems in the system if you get the case to the court and then the system wide failures in the system can become clear to you.
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And more coverage of the death of Ms. Penner. Very sad and concerning. Care at Points West Living Cold Lake is in serious decline since the employer locked out its regular employees just before Christmas. Send a message to the NDP government at #ColdLakeLockout

Alberta Health Services has opened a file on Points West Living Cold Lake and the facility has launched an internal investigation of ... more ›

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