Tuesday, April 18, 2017

---StatsCan notes that the “increasing proportion of Canadians reaching older ages raises issues about demand for health services and delivery of care.” But that also means more work for their children — my generation — as they deal with the complex medical issues facing longer-living but increasingly frail and needy parents in overburdened and failing medical and seniors-care systems. This exacts not only a toll on one’s time, energy and emotions but, for some, a financial burden. Those of us in the sandwich generation love our kids and parents and are happy to help, but there are greater specific demands on us than past generations faced. With the provincial election underway, I will be looking to see who is offering commitments and practical solutions concerning these issues.-------Julie Ali · University of Alberta It doesn't matter which political party you elect --none of them are interested in the sandwich generation's problems or about the problems faced by seniors. In Alberta we got rid of the unproductive Conservatives by hiring the NDP folks. The new hires have shown no interest in seniors' issues. Let us consider the seniors in the continuing care system for example. The NDP folks have made no changes to the poor state of the continuing care system. The continuing care system is underfunde. Its hard to understand why the continuing care system is still underfunded by the so called people's party. Prior to forming government, they were always complaining about the poor efforts of the PCs with reference to seniors issues, continuing care funding and the lack of long term care beds but once in power they have transformed themselves into the NDPCs. Problems in the continuing care system that the NDP folks were fully aware of--are now ignored. For example the PCs made a Trespass to Premises law that has no appeal process. This means that continuing care providers and hospitals can simply ban a family from visiting their family member in care. This happened in the case of Shauna McHarg. Her case is illustrative of the use of a hammer law on a citizen ant; Shauna McHarg went to the Ombudsman and the court system to get information about why she was banned by Covenant Health. The end result of years of running the government gauntlet was that the courts told her that the Covenant Health folks don't need to provide the information. Meanwhile other information she requested from AHS apparently was "transitory" documents and got shreded as well. The moral of the Shauna McHarg story is that going through all the proper channels results in an unjust situation becoming worse. Shauna McHarg trusted the government of Alberta and all she got for this trust in my opinion, was an object lesson in never exposing the system's flaws. Besides the problem of banning family and advocates in this unjust manner that is disruptive for the resident or patient in care, there are no visitation rights present for citizens. Visitation rights are essential but for some odd reason visitors are seen as potential problems rather than part of the care team. Why else would we have successive health ministers tell us that banned visitors were a safety issue for staff just for their advocacy work? It's curious to me that advocating for your family member would be seen as a threat. Perhaps the threat could be the revelation to the public of non-compliances to the standards of care? Any problems citizens encountered in 44 years of Tory rule were apparently amicably resolved by all concerned--since there was only one appeal process for all the former health authorities. There was no appeal process for any decision by most of the health authorities despite this requirement in the Nursing Act; only recently has there been one at AHS. I don't know why Ethics and Compliance at AHS and why Alberta Health countenanced this failure to adhere to the Nursing Act for years but there you go. There is now the internal to AHS appeal process; I doubt that an internal to AHS appeal process is anything more than a mechanism to tie up troublesome loose ends for the health authority and Alberta Health. No sort of interest has been evinced by the NDP folks to ensure the just society model that the folks at the HQCA (Health Quality Council of Alberta) continually lecture us about. No sort of power is present in the offices of the Health Advocates, the Protection for Persons in Care Office, the Mental Health Advocate, the Seniors Advocate and the Ombudsman Office. Most of these offices are under the boots of Alberta Health. We pay major bucks for advocates who can only tell us that they can't help us. This set up is expensive and useless. So what we have here is a pretty facade for citizens, no sort of interest by the government of Alberta at oversight of the most vulnerable citizens in the continuing care system, retribution for the advocates yapping in public and major spin by all the government folks that abuse will not be tolerated when by gum it is tolerated. The political parties don't want to be bothered by the problems of folks who are on their way out. Only the families of these seniors can ensure some interest is raised. I believe in Ontario interest is being raised by the use of a class action lawsuit. Lori Dekorver's class action lawsuit against Revera is the first of it's kind in Canada. http://www.northumberlandnews.com/.../6920871-family... Family seeks class action suit against Ontario nursing home after father’s death “This (lawsuit) means that it’s not a secret anymore,” she said. “I am hoping people will understand what could happen, what does happen and what to look for to reduce these cases of nursing home neglect and abuse.” Like · Reply · Just now

It is clear to me that government will not be able to deal with the issues in the continuing care system and families have to do the work required.
It doesn't matter which political party we hire, they are not interested in the issues of families or really in any of the citizens.
Political parties are only interested in themselves and how to stay in power.
If this is the situation, we must be realistic in our expectations of political parties and not have any loyalty to them. It's best to change the political party at every election, dissent for more funding for the continuing care system and more deliverables for the tax dollars we pay.
It's no use expecting government in Alberta to do the work properly because they aren't interested in value for our money. What these folks are interested in are short term results to lure us to vote for them again.
So far in the continuing care system I see no results.
Best we hire new folks, ask for government to be pruned and then use the savings on our own families.

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http://theprovince.com/opinion/columnists/gordon-clark-parties-need-to-finally-get-serious-about-seniors-care#comments


Gordon Clark: Parties need to finally get serious about seniors care

Published:April 18, 2017
Updated:April 18, 2017 4:11 PM PDT
Filed Under:
Domenic and Raffaella Lucchesi visit each other with son Louis at  Little Mountain Place in Vancouver on Aug. 27, 2016. (Arlen Redekop/PNG FILES)
Thanks to medical advances, better nutrition and, overall, much less dangerous lives, our parents' generation, now in their 70s and 80s, is living longer than ever. Arlen Redekop / PNG
You can hardly open a newspaper or news website these days without finding an article on the difficulties of the sandwich generation — those poor folks simultaneously coping with the needs of children and aging parents. Well, here’s another.
As editorial pages editor, I’ve published dozens of articles over the years on the concerns of the sandwich generation, particularly about the problems of dealing with the often complex needs of aging parents. But an idea popped into my head recently about the issue that I don’t recall reading anywhere else.
Those of us in our 50s from the tail end of the Baby Boom and early part of Gen X aren’t the first people to find ourselves supporting youngsters and oldsters at the same time. But it strikes me that our cohort is unique in history in finding ourselves buffeted by a storm of overlapping pressures.
First, as a group, we had children later in life than previous generations, largely because most women delayed having kids so they could pursue education and launch careers, particularly women in the professions. Many didn’t start having or adopting kids until their early to mid-30s — sometimes later.
According to Statistics Canada, the average age of mothers with first births was under age 24 when our moms were having children in the 1960s. By the time we were having children in the 1990s, the average age of moms having their first child was nearly 27. By 2011, the average age of mothers having their first child was 28.5 years — “the oldest recorded to date,” according to an online StatsCan article, Fertility: Fewer children, older moms.
“By 2010, the average age of mothers at childbirth — taking into account all births — had risen to over 30, similar to the early 20th century. By 2011, it had edged up to 30.2 years, the oldest age on record,” it says. “Unlike earlier periods, the modern timeframe for childbearing has become increasingly concentrated around age 30. Many women are having their first child at an older age, compared with several decades ago.”
Not that I’m particularly complaining, but having kids later in life means that in your 50s — an age at which previous generations’ offspring had left home, leaving mom and dad with more quality “us time” — many people are still dealing with the financial and emotional issues related to teen years and early adulthood.
In addition, our children are needier, facing greater challenges in moving into adulthood than previous generations, with high post-secondary fees, crushing student loans, tough employment prospects and — in Vancouver, anyway — ridiculously high housing costs. That means they are staying at home longer and financially more dependent than past generations of young adults launching into grown-up lives.
Then there is the other piece of bread in the sandwich — elderly parents.
Thanks to medical advances, better nutrition and, overall, much less dangerous lives, our parents’ generation, now in their 70s and 80s, is living longer than ever.
According to Statistics Canada, average life expectancy at birth for Canadians increased from 57.1 years in 1921 to 81.7 years in 2011, a gain of 24.6 years. Our parents’ generation, born in the 1930s and 1940s, had lifespans at birth that were expected to last on average about 60 to 65 years.
But, as StatsCan notes in the article Ninety Years of Change in Life Expectancy, “reductions in deaths from circulatory system diseases, such as heart disease, were the biggest contributors to gains in life expectancy.” Happily, improved cancer survival has added 10 months to average life expectancy.
StatsCan notes that the “increasing proportion of Canadians reaching older ages raises issues about demand for health services and delivery of care.” But that also means more work for their children — my generation — as they deal with the complex medical issues facing longer-living but increasingly frail and needy parents in overburdened and failing medical and seniors-care systems. This exacts not only a toll on one’s time, energy and emotions but, for some, a financial burden.
Those of us in the sandwich generation love our kids and parents and are happy to help, but there are greater specific demands on us than past generations faced. With the provincial election underway, I will be looking to see who is offering commitments and practical solutions concerning these issues.
gclark@postmedia.com
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Gordon Clark is a columnist and editorial pages editor for The Province. Letters to the editor can be sent to provletters@theprovince.com.
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Is there more to this story? We’d like to hear from you about this or any other stories you think we should know about. Email vantips@postmedia.com.



Julie Ali · 

It doesn't matter which political party you elect --none of them are interested in the sandwich generation's problems or about the problems faced by seniors.
In Alberta we got rid of the unproductive Conservatives by hiring the NDP folks. The new hires have shown no interest in seniors' issues.

Let us consider the seniors in the continuing care system for example. The NDP folks have made no changes to the poor state of the continuing care system. The continuing care system is underfunded. Its hard to understand why the continuing care system is still underfunded by the so called people's party. Prior to forming government, they were always complaining about the poor efforts of the PCs with reference to seniors issues, continuing care funding and the lack of long term care beds but once in power they have transformed themselves into the NDPCs.

Problems in the continuing care system that the NDP folks were fully aware of--are now ignored. For example the PCs made a Trespass to Premises law that has no appeal process. This means that continuing care providers and hospitals can simply ban a family from visiting their family member in care. This happened in the case of Shauna McHarg. Her case is illustrative of the use of a hammer law on a citizen ant; Shauna McHarg went to the Ombudsman and the court system to get information about why she was banned by Covenant Health. The end result of years of running the government gauntlet was that the courts told her that the Covenant Health folks don't need to provide the information. Meanwhile other information she requested from AHS apparently was "transitory" documents and got shreded as well. The moral of the Shauna McHarg story is that going through all the proper channels results in an unjust situation becoming worse. Shauna McHarg trusted the government of Alberta and all she got for this trust in my opinion, was an object lesson in never exposing the system's flaws.

Besides the problem of banning family and advocates in this unjust manner that is disruptive for the resident or patient in care, there are no visitation rights present for citizens. Visitation rights are essential but for some odd reason visitors are seen as potential problems rather than part of the care team. Why else would we have successive health ministers tell us that banned visitors were a safety issue for staff just for their advocacy work? It's curious to me that advocating for your family member would be seen as a threat. Perhaps the threat could be the revelation to the public of non-compliances to the standards of care?

Any problems citizens encountered in 44 years of Tory rule were apparently amicably resolved by all concerned--since there was only one appeal process for all the former health authorities. There was no appeal process for any decision by most of the health authorities despite this requirement in the Nursing Act; only recently has there been one at AHS. I don't know why Ethics and Compliance at AHS and why Alberta Health countenanced this failure to adhere to the Nursing Act for years but there you go. There is now the internal to AHS appeal process; I doubt that an internal to AHS appeal process is anything more than a mechanism to tie up troublesome loose ends for the health authority and Alberta Health.

No sort of interest has been evinced by the NDP folks to ensure the just society model that the folks at the HQCA (Health Quality Council of Alberta) continually lecture us about. No sort of power is present in the offices of the Health Advocates, the Protection for Persons in Care Office, the Mental Health Advocate, the Seniors Advocate and the Ombudsman Office. Most of these offices are under the boots of Alberta Health. We pay major bucks for advocates who can only tell us that they can't help us. This set up is expensive and useless.

So what we have here is a pretty facade for citizens, no sort of interest by the government of Alberta at oversight of the most vulnerable citizens in the continuing care system, retribution for the advocates yapping in public and major spin by all the government folks that abuse will not be tolerated when by gum it is tolerated.

The political parties don't want to be bothered by the problems of folks who are on their way out. Only the families of these seniors can ensure some interest is raised. I believe in Ontario interest is being raised by the use of a class action lawsuit.

Lori Dekorver's class action lawsuit against Revera is the first of it's kind in Canada.

http://www.northumberlandnews.com/.../6920871-family...

Family seeks class action suit against Ontario nursing home after father’s death

“This (lawsuit) means that it’s not a secret anymore,” she said.

“I am hoping people will understand what could happen, what does happen and what to look for to reduce these cases of nursing home neglect and abuse.”
LikeReplyJust now

Changing political parties won't result in change in the area of seniors' issues such as underfunding of the continuing care system. What will change the system is the activism of families joining up to hold providers like Revera accountable. Families have to do the work of government because none of the political parties want to deal with seniors issues.
If government won't do the work of change, I guess families will do this work for them.


You can hardly open a newspaper or news website these days without finding an article on the difficulties of the sandwich generation — those poor folks…
THEPROVINCE.COM

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