Thursday, June 29, 2017

---A review of the Lacombe Hospital and Care Centre found that "multiple clients" were being physically restrained with no indication the practice had been ordered by a physician. The review was conducted only after nursing students from Red Deer College raised concerns in March during a practicum at the facility. Leaked documents with details of the review were made public by the opposition last week, when Wildrose Leader Brian Jean told the legislature conditions in the facility were "appalling."---------Friends of Medicare thinks there should be greater oversight of restraint usage in all facilities. "It's definitely an area where the province needs to put a little bit more oversight and certainly focus on, in terms of how do we make somebody's life a little more bearable when they're in a facility," said Azocar.---Lori Sparrow, senior health executive for AHS central zone, wouldn't comment on the Lacombe findings, because of an ongoing investigation into the problems discovered there. But Sparrow said every facility is expected to follow a "restraint procedure." "If it's found that restraint-as-a-last-resort procedure is not being followed," said Sparrow, "then we'll go in and investigate and provide additional education and training for all those who are involved."-----------Sparrow said patients who are restrained are required to be monitored and reassessed every three months, or more often if necessary. "We have a least-restraint policy," said Sparrow. "We want to ensure we're using restraining as a last resort." Restraint should only be used when a patient poses a danger to themselves or others, she said.


So if the partners in care --the GOA, the health authorities (AHS and Covenant Health) and the continuing care industry are present in all aspects of the design of the continuing care system what is the role of citizens? Personally I doubt we have any role.
My particular role is to investigate and document the system so that you can all see the infiltration of the partners in all aspects of the development of the continuing care system--so that even the office designed to protect the abused residents has had folks from the continuing care industry operators on its legislative review committee. What hope is there for us to change a system so usurped by the industry and handed to them by the government politicians themselves?
There is no hope.
But at least we can document and reveal the writhing mass of activity behind the front windows of the business of delivery of continuing care.
Most of us will be silenced but some of us will speak. Some of us will speak and then be silenced. But no matter. The facts of the work of government in Alberta are revealed to us by the investigations of what was done to devolve government and public responsibility to the private sector for the dollar, the dollar bill yo!


The Lacombe long term care facility appears to have a mix of problems. The first report details some of the problems.

https://lacombeonline.com/local/wildrose-party-raises-care-concerns-at-lacombe-hospital


Wildrose Party Raises Care Concerns at Lacombe Hospital


Category: Local News
Published: Wednesday, 10 May 2017 05:40
Written by Kim Kay
The level of care being provided at the Lacombe Hospital and Care Centre is being called into question by the Wildrose Party.
They released some leaked documents yesterday that are "incredibly concerning" according to Wildrose Leader Brian Jean who says Lacombe area residents "are not receiving the care they deserve".
Those leaked documents indicate an investigation was launched last month after some Red Deer College practical nursing students completing practicums at the Lacombe Hospital brought forward some serious concerns.
Findings from the investigation point to a number of problems according to the Wildrose who released this list:
· expired aseptic sterile supplies like catheters;
· soiled linen and garbage overflowing into hallways;
· slings being used communally without a clear, consistent cleaning process;
· medication left unsecured, unlabeled, unattended;
· lack of proper training in medication management and assistance (for those managing medication);
· lack of proper training in dementia care (for those assisting clients with dementia); and
· lack of proper training in risk management, fall prevention, CPR, palliative/end-of-life care, safe lifts, restraints, and bathing.
A formal report is pending.
The Wildrose Party is calling on the NDP government to ensure the report is made public to ensure transparency and accountability, and Lacombe-Ponoka MLA Ron Orr says they will "hold the NDP government to account to ensure these significant problems are fixed".


***
The problems at this facility were raised  by student nurses from Red Deer College. One has to wonder why nursing students raise care concerns. Had the regular staff realized they had problems, raised them and then been ignored?

The problems listed in this report are not just limited to training of staff and poor infection control practices but go into the management of patients with limited insight who were both physically and chemically restrained.

Leaked report prompts calls for further investigation into use of restraints in Alberta seniors facilities

'We want to ensure we're using restraining as a last resort,' says senior Alberta Health executive

By Kim Trynacity, CBC News Posted: May 16, 2017 6:00 AM MT Last Updated: May 16, 2017 6:00 AM MT
Health advocates are calling on the provincial government to increase oversight of the use of restraints in seniors-care facilities.
Health advocates are calling on the provincial government to increase oversight of the use of restraints in seniors-care facilities.
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Recent findings of absent or improper monitoring in the use of restraints at the Lacombe Hospital and Care Centre have prompted calls for greater oversight into how and why restraints are used in seniors facilities across Alberta.
A review of the Lacombe Hospital and Care Centre found that "multiple clients" were being physically restrained with no indication the practice had been ordered by a physician.
The review was conducted only after nursing students from Red Deer College raised concerns in March during a practicum at the facility.
Leaked documents with details of the review were made public by the opposition last week, when Wildrose Leader Brian Jean told the legislature conditions in the facility were "appalling."
Sandra Azocar, Friends of Medicare
Sandra Azocar, executive director of Friends of Medicare, says the government needs to tighten up its oversight of how restraints are used in seniors-care facilities. (Linked-In)
According to the documents, some clients "had seatbelts without physicians' orders in place, monitoring, review or documentation in the care plan."
Similar problems were also found with the use of "pharmacological restraints," which are prescribed medications that Friends of Medicare health advocate Sandra Azocar said are another way to describe "sedation, anti-depressants, and anti-anxiety medication."
Under AHS procedures noted in the review, a physician or care team is required to monitor a patient restraint prescription each month.
But that wasn't always the case at the Lacombe facility, where "medication reviews by the physician did not always occur at a minimum of once a month," according to findings of the review.

Concerns raised by seniors and families

Azocar said the use of restraints and medications has frequently been raised as an area of concern in meetings across Alberta with seniors and their families.
"There's quite a bit of a theme happening across the province in seniors care, when it comes to the use of these (restraints)," said Azocar.
Family members are often worried "there's a bit of an overuse," she said.
Friends of Medicare thinks there should be greater oversight of restraint usage in all facilities.
"It's definitely an area where the province needs to put a little bit more oversight and certainly focus on, in terms of how do we make somebody's life a little more bearable when they're in a facility," said Azocar.
Lori Sparrow, senior health executive for AHS central zone, wouldn't comment on the Lacombe findings, because of an ongoing investigation into the problems discovered there.
But Sparrow said every facility is expected to follow a "restraint procedure."
"If it's found that restraint-as-a-last-resort procedure is not being followed," said Sparrow, "then we'll go in and investigate and provide additional education and training for all those who are involved."

Restraints should be 'a last resort'

Sparrow said patients who are restrained are required to be monitored and reassessed every three months, or more often if necessary.
"We have a least-restraint policy," said Sparrow. "We want to ensure we're using restraining as a last resort."
Restraint should only be used when a patient poses a danger to themselves or others, she said.
Sparrow said facility audits are performed every two years to ensure standards are being followed.
Despite concerns expressed to Friends of Medicare about restraints, performance measures tracked by the Canadian Institute of Health Research show the rate of usage of chemical and physical restraints in Alberta is below the national average, and declining.
As of November 2016, the CIHI data shows 6.9 per cent of residents in Alberta long-term care facilities were restrained, compared to the national average of 7.4 per cent. The Alberta percentage compared to 8.6 per cent the previous year.
The Lacombe Hospital and Care facility is now under investigation by Alberta Health Services
A review of operations at the Lacombe Hospital and Care Centre uncovered problems with the use of mechanical and pharmacological restraints. (Google)
There has also been a steady drop in the use of anti-psychotic drugs in Alberta as a restraining measure in seniors care, according to the CIHI report.
What CIHI calls "potentially inappropriate" use of anti-psychotic drugs in Alberta long-term care facilities has dropped in recent years, from a peak of 36 per cent in north zone facilities in 2012-2013 to 24.8 per cent in 2015-2016. CIHI said the measure tracks "the percentage of residents who receive an anti-psychotic medication without a diagnosis of psychosis."
CIHI said the overall number for Alberta is now at 18.1 per cent, compared to 26.5 per cent in 2012-2013.
Anti-psychotic drugs, according to CIHI, are "a class of medication used for the treatment of acute and chronic psychosis" that could have adverse effects, especially on seniors. They are deemed appropriate, however, "when used in the treatment of chronic mental health conditions, such as schizophrenia and to manage psychosis," such as hallucinations.
As a result of the findings of the Lacombe hospital review, AHS placed three staff members on administrative leave, ordered more staff training, and launched investigations.
One investigation is being conducted under the the Protection for Persons in Care unit of Alberta Health.

The group responds to reports of potential abuse of patients in hospitals or nursing homes, in addition to examining accommodation standards.


******************************
This sort of poor regulation of chemical restraints and poor use of physical restraints makes me wonder if the problems go beyond staff training to staff:resident ratios. Why else would there be such a poor control of the restraint procedures unless the staff were overwhelmed and using restraints to manage workload?

Or do audits by AHS and Alberta Health not review any of these areas so that they are not detected? You would think that the audit would cover the restraint policy/procedure and follow up with reviews of patient files.


What is even more mind boggling about this case is that this is a facility run by AHS. So this raises the questions of why we have AHS auditing itself. Obviously auditing oneself in the case of the Lacombe long term care facility has not worked or why else are we seeing the deficiencies reported by the Wildrose Party?  Heck this is the only time we do see the deficiencies in the continuing care system in Alberta--when the opposition parties report these messes to us.


As usual when the dirt is exposed we have AHS scurrying in to do the reviews of the residents, cleaning up the problems and telling us it's all good.  Well of course it is good --now. We've had #MediaAttention and #SocialMediaChangesEverything and that's enough to get folks in the GOA to do their jobs. One only wonders what they do when the media is not around. Eat cookies?



AHS Comments on Report of Care Concerns at Lacombe Hospital


Category: Local News
Published: Wednesday, 10 May 2017 15:45
Written by Jordan Davidson
Alberta Health Services has responded to a report released by the Wildrose party on Tuesday, detailing some serious concerns with the level of care in the long term care unit at the Lacombe Hospital and Care Centre.
AHS did confirm that there was an investigation launched last month regarding the concerns, and they also confirmed that those concerns are mostly accurate, clarifying the issues are based entirely in the long term care unit, and not the Lacombe Hospital as a whole.
So far three staff members have been placed on leave according to AHS Vice President and Chief Health Operations Officer for Central and Southern Alberta Brenda Huband.
"Those staff members may have had some role in some of the concerns, so what we wanted to do was to be able to both protect them and ensure we were able to have a robust investigation, and once we have all of the results of that we will be meeting with those three staff members".
First and Foremost, Huband says their concerns and actions centered on the residents living in the facility.
"We have done health assessments on all 75 residents to ensure there are no outstanding health concerns.  Those assessments would have also included physiotherapy and a falls risk assessment just to make sure that everyone is safe and able to be up on their own or do they need a walker or some other kind of device to help them, so it's just again a part of an assessment".
A thorough cleaning was also done at the site with support from infection prevention control professionals.
Measures continue at the site to educate staff, and also address any concerns the patients and their families may have according to Huband.
"The first things that we did were to make sure we had leadership at the site, because there has been some vacancies there, so we ensured there was leaders there. We had investigation teams that were in very very soon after the concerns were addressed to us, and we are now moving on to education with our teams, and really creating a foundation of how to move forward more into resident and family focused care."
The concerns, which included lack of proper training in a number of areas, and pointing to uncleanliness, and medication being left unsecured, unlabelled and unattended, were originally brought to AHS's attention by nurse practicum students from Red Deer College, who were completing practicums at Lacombe Hospital in the long term care unit.
There is still a lot of positive support for Lacombe Hospital and Care Centre, but Huband says these concerns are troubling, and they have to be raised and addressed in order to move forward.
"This is a site that has had some challenges, but they do many many things very well. What we want to do is create a foundation to go forward on where that excellent care continues. But there have been concerns raised which we have to address. And that's part of the whole goal, is to keep moving forward, but make sure we have a strong underpinning so all of that strong care can continue."
You can view the concerns addressed by the Wildrose Party here.
Lacombe-Ponoka MLA Ron Orr presented the findings and questioned Health Minister Sarah Hoffman in the legislature on Tuesday, watch here.




Staff placed on leave after nursing students flag alarming problems at Lacombe Hospital

Using leaked audit documents, Opposition Wildrose describe conditions at the facility as 'appalling'

By Gareth Hampshire, CBC News Posted: May 10, 2017 1:32 PM MT Last Updated: May 11, 2017 6:49 PM MT
Alberta Health Services is investigating safety and sanitary issues and staff training at the Lacombe Hospital and Care Centre.
Alberta Health Services is investigating safety and sanitary issues and staff training at the Lacombe Hospital and Care Centre. (Google)
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Three staff members have been placed on leave at the Lacombe Hospital and Care Centre after a review uncovered safety and sanitary problems and inadequate staff training.    
Opposition Wildrose Leader Brian Jean described conditions at the facility as "appalling" during question period at the Alberta legislature on Tuesday.    
The problems only came to light after nursing students from Red Deer College raised alarms in March, during their practicum at the facility.    
"We are grateful that the students who were on the site did raise concerns and that AHS followed up immediately," said Health Minister Sarah Hoffman.
Leaked documents made public by the Wildrose show not all staff at the centre received training on infection control practices.
Training was also found to be deficient in the areas of wound care, dementia care and medication management.
Private client health information was left unattended in unsecured locations easily accessible to staff and families.

Opposition concerned about patient safety

Other problems outlined in the documents included expired sterile supplies, such as catheters, dirty linen and overflowing garbage found in the hospital's hallways.
Linda Moore Martin, the dean of health sciences at Red Deer College, said it would not have been easy for the students to raise such an issue and is "immensely proud" of their actions.
"I think the students coming forward with their concerns has made a huge difference for the residents and we are very pleased that Alberta Health Services has taken the concerns expressed by the students seriously," Moore Martin said.
Jean told the legislature the documents identified 80 problems at the centre, some of which he said jeopardized patient safety.
"Would the premier trust the level of care at this hospital to her own loved ones?" he asked in question period Tuesday.
Hoffman replied, and insisted she would feel confident if her family members were being cared for at the hospital. She said solutions to the problems have since been put in place.
Alberta Health Services is investigating the issue and is now taking steps it said will ensure that patients get safe and effective care.

AHS says staff given more training

In a written statement, AHS said all 75 residents in the long-term care centre have had new health assessments and the centre has been thoroughly cleaned.
Education sessions are also being provided to staff.
The health authority said it has met with residents and their families to explain the situation.
An additional investigation is being conducted by the Protection for Persons in Care unit of Alberta Health.
The group responds to reports of potential abuse of patients in hospitals or nursing homes, in addition to examining accommodation standards.
That investigation was launched in March after Alberta Health was notified about the problems.

Alberta Health Services would not say what jobs were performed by staff placed on administrative leave, but said they'll remain on leave pending the outcome of the investigations underway.

****
But there you go.
This is Alberta.
Families and advocates like Ruth Adria face retribution for yapping publicly about these problems that the GOA and the health authorities know about because as this case confirms, AHS folks were in charge of this facility in Lacombe and ignored the problems until a group of brave nursing students did the Joan of Arc business of sacrifice on the pyre of the system.  Hopefully they have not made themselves unemployable by this act of ethical professionalism.
Meanwhile staff at the Lacombe long term care facility get the training they lacked which for some mysterious reason was not provided to them before there was media attention and we have families told it is all good. Yeah, I guess we are confident about that reassurance by the system.  And of course the PPIC folks are in to cover up for the GOA.

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/edmonton/staff-placed-on-leave-after-nursing-students-flag-alarming-problems-at-lacombe-hospital-1.4108699

An additional investigation is being conducted by the Protection for Persons in Care unit of Alberta Health.
The group responds to reports of potential abuse of patients in hospitals or nursing homes, in addition to examining accommodation standards.
That investigation was launched in March after Alberta Health was notified about the problems.
I doubt that the PPIC folks will do more than their usual sanitation work at the site of abuse and fatality.
The opposition party is also concerned about patient safety which is not unreasonable a position considering the non-compliances present

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/edmonton/staff-placed-on-leave-after-nursing-students-flag-alarming-problems-at-lacombe-hospital-1.4108699

Jean told the legislature the documents identified 80 problems at the centre, some of which he said jeopardized patient safety.
"Would the premier trust the level of care at this hospital to her own loved ones?" he asked in question period Tuesday.
Hoffman replied, and insisted she would feel confident if her family members were being cared for at the hospital. She said solutions to the problems have since been put in place.


 but really once the opposition party becomes the GOA folks we will have the transformation of the folks from stand up for your families folks to secretive cover your butt folks of the NDP sort. I mean just before they got to the GOA the NDP folks were all about long term care beds and families--- as well but now it's all just a mirage.

Here are the NDP folks promising stuff before we hired them:

Mason says NDP has plan for seniors





Tyler Waugh
Thu, Jul 28, 2011
Provincial NDP leader Brian Mason was in Hinton on July 18 to meet with seniors care advocates as part of a tour through the northwest region.
“The issue of long-term care in Hinton remains a really serious problem and we haven’t seen any changes despite several years of campaigning by local people,” Mason said during the Hinton stop, adding that the party will be refining its seniors platform leading up to the next provincial election. “It was in Hinton where we first saw the problem develop of conversion of some of the long-term care beds from the public health system into a privately delivered assisted living care where they have to pay for everything.”


Mason said the problem is far more widespread now and said the government intends to reduce the number of long-term care beds by 50 per cent, referring to a May 2009 draft document prepared by a private consultant for Alberta Seniors and Community Supports. That draft mentioned “the continuing care strategy targets a significant reduction in long-term care beds” with more focus on aging in place strategies.
He said there is a need for more funding, but that cost savings can be achieved through investment in long-term care beds because seniors will not be occupying acute care beds.
“Acute care beds are several times more expensive to operate per day than a long-term care bed. If you have long-term care people in acute-care beds, which we often do now, it’s not a cost-effective practice,” he said, adding that home care needs to be championed and there is a need for reform to the plan for prescription drugs. “(Drug companies) have a right to make a profit, but have no right gouging us.”
Mason’s tour took him through Grande Prairie, Grande Cache, Jasper and Hinton in what he calls preparations for the upcoming election to take place in the next year. He said the party has been in conversation with a number of potential candidates for the West Yellowhead.

“This is a pretty good constituency for the NDP and we want to continue to build on that,” Mason said.
*****************************

And here is the situation now in Hinton:



Finance Minister promotes spending in the 2016 Alberta Budget

Dayla Lahring
Monday, May 9, 2016 6:21:27 MDT PM
Alberta Finance Minister Joe Ceci addressed Hinton and District Chamber of Commerce about the government’s new Alberta Jobs Plan on May 3 at the Hinton Golf Club. (Dayla Lahring/ Hinton Parklander)
Alberta Finance Minister Joe Ceci addressed Hinton and District Chamber of Commerce about the government’s new Alberta Jobs Plan on May 3 at the Hinton Golf Club. (Dayla Lahring/ Hinton Parklander)

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Alberta Finance Minister, Joe Ceci, unrolled the Alberta Jobs Plan with one strong message at its core: now is not the time to save, but the time to spend.
He began to outline the 2016 Alberta Jobs Plan before the Hinton and District Chambers of Commerce on May 3 amidst a room full of people.
“We named our budget the jobs plan because that’s exactly what it is. It’s a plan to support Albertans through this downturn, it’s a plan to generate better business environment for everyone,” he said.
Revenue generated from non-renewable resources has dropped to its lowest point since the early 1970’s. Oil prices are expected to continue to drop, and the NDP plans to borrow to pay for operating costs for the first time since 1994.
In February the unemployment rate in Alberta reached 7.4 per cent — the highest it’s been in 20 years.
He said while the NDP can’t control dropping prices in oil, they can control their response to it.
Ceci said during the last economic downturn, the previous government cut spending on infrastructure and that “it’s always made a bad situation worse”.
“Instead we’re taking a different approach,” he said.
The government is planning to spend nearly $35 billion in major infrastructure to increase jobs for Albertans.
He said starting in July, families with lower income can expect to receive a direct quarterly payment under the Alberta Child Benefit.
“This is ground-breaking social policy that will reduce poverty and help Albertans, especially during these tough times,” he said.
$900 million dollars has been put toward affordable housing and $365 million dollars to create 2,000 new long-term care beds to support seniors.
Hintonite Linda Johnson asked whether any of those beds would end up in Hinton, which lost long-term care beds in 2005. Last year, Sarah Hoffman, Minister of Health, announced a project to bring Good Samaritan Society 30 new beds wouldn’t be going ahead.
She said she hopes Hinton will “get back those beds as soon as possible”.
Ceci responded that Hoffman had limited time to review all project but that the NDP government are “invest- ing more than the previous government ”.
“We think there has been too little investment around long-term care and too many of our senior’s staying in the wrong place for the wrong reason,” he said. “We know that we have to do a better job.”
Mayor Rob Mackin asked Ceci what the government’s plan was in regards of the mountain pine beetle.
“Forestry is probably one of the most resilient industries in Alberta right now,” he said. “And it’s a con- cern of industry folks that the government may be pulling focus from the mountain pine beetle efforts.”
Ceci said he wasn’t aware that there was any pull-back in funding and that he would “look into it”. However, according to West Yellowhead MLA Eric Rosendahl, the NDP government has pulled back nearly $2 million in funding to fight the epidemic.
Rosendahl said the government has promised to continue to support mountain pine beetle efforts, regardless of fund cuts.
Ceci also emphasized an importance on education and supporting students. Unfortunately, this importance did not carry over to the Hinton Training Centre, which is in need of $75 million in upgrades.
“We had a significant number of requests come our way,” he explained in a follow-up interview.
The government received over 700 project proposals across the province. He explained that different criteria had to be met in order to receive the funding.
When it came to the Hinton Training Centre, he wasn’t sure on the specifics on why it didn’t get funding.
Of the 700 projects proposed, 100 met all the conditions but ended up on the unfunded list. The Hinton Training Centre was one of those projects.
“We only have so much money in our capital plan,” he said, “and we’re spending about $8.5 billion this year across Alberta.”
He said projects on the unfunded list weren’t being “written off forever” and could potentially come forward next year.
The facility is the only one of its kind across Canada — offering training for both structural and wild land firefighting.
With spending $35 billion in infrastructure, Alberta is expected to hit a deficit of $58 billion by 2018.


Advocates push for long-term care beds in Hinton

Dayla Lahring
Friday, December 9, 2016 1:11:29 MST PM
Linda Johnson, Seniors I Care, says now is the time to fight for long-term care. (Dayla Lahring/ Hinton Parklander)
Linda Johnson, Seniors I Care, says now is the time to fight for long-term care. (Dayla Lahring/ Hinton Parklander)

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Long-term care advocates say that they’re tired of Hinton being slighted when it comes to the care they deserve.
On Dec. 5 Linda Johnson, organizer of Seniors I Care, stood with other advocates in Edmonton calling on the provincial government to take action and get long-term care back in Hinton.
“To me, these residents could and should be looked after right in their own rooms,” she said at the press conference.
Last week Friends of Medicare toured through Hinton and hosted a public meeting, urging Hintonites to sign a petition to get more long-term care beds in Alberta.
Sandra Azocar, Friends of Medicare Executive Director, says that seniors’ care has largely been privatized, making it more difficult for seniors to get adequate health services.
“It moved from providing medically-essential services to being somewhat a hospitality industry over the last two decades and that’s certainly something that we want to see reversed,” she stated.
Azocar said that seniors have to pay for their healthcare, something that doesn’t sit right with her.
“In over 50 years we have made a pledge as Canadians that nobody would have to die because they can’t afford healthcare, or that nobody would ever have to go bankrupt because they can’t afford healthcare.”
According to the AHS (Alberta Health Services) website, “long-term care facilities are designed specifically for individuals with complex, unpredictable medical needs who require 24 hour on-site Registered Nurse assessment and or treatment.”
The NDP promised 2,000 public long-term care beds in Alberta during their 2015 platform, which Azocar said they were excited for. However she says the government hasn’t been acting quick enough.
“We want to put pressure on them to follow through,” she said.
She explained that often long-term care spouses are separated and put into facilities far away from each other.
Azocar said registered nurses are often given little time to care for a high-volume of in-home patients. The result is mediocre care and a highly stressed worker.
“I don’t have the full half-hour. My boss says I can do this in 15 minutes, so I get to your home and in 15 minutes you have to be in and out of that shower because that’s all I’m getting paid for.”
“People don’t work in units of service. There’s some days where [the patient] wants to get up and you have all the energy in the world and there’s some days where your bones just hurt and you don’t want to get up,” she explained.
Azocar said it’s not fair to treat people like machines and expect them to follow a schedule.
“If I have two hours to get nine residents ready for breakfast, and that’s what’s happening at some of these facilities, that’s what I’m going to be working with.”
She said that means sometimes long-term care patients might get a sandwich or whatever is left for breakfast if they’re unable to get out of bed in time due to the pressure of the nurse’s working hours.
“That’s not quality care, that’s not human care.”
Johnson, who attended the public meeting, said not enough care is available at the Pine Valley Lodge.
“Some of the family members will go in and bathe and change in order to keep them in the lodge setting,” she said.
Johnson stood at the front of the room and passionately appealed to the crowd.
“I’ve been fighting to make sure that these families are staying here,” she said, voice cracking. “And not shipping them off to another community for care. They’ve been here for 60 years or more, they belong here.
“I hope that by Friends of Medicare and Sandra coming here, this is the time to fight. Look what we have here; they belong here. We can’t sit back and let this continue because I’m going to tell you: you’re next,” she said.
At the Dec. 5 press conference in Edmonton Johnson said there’s not enough staff at Good Samaritans which provides supportive living for patients. She said families now have to take their loved ones staying at Good Samaritans over to the hospital for the care they need.
“Residents are going without baths, they're going without their rooms cleaned or their call bells for help are being unanswered,” she said.
At a family council meeting a few months ago, Johnson said family members stated that “due to the lack of staffing [at Good Samaritans] this is an unsafe place for their loved ones to live in.”

Johnson organized the Seniors I Care advocacy group in 2005 after Good Samaritans converted long-term care into supportive living beds. Johnson started a petition, which can be signed at the Dew Drop In. The petition is a way for Johnson to get long-term care back in town.
*****

My feeling is that everyone will be without the long term care beds in Hinton because the NDP folks simply won't be providing them.

So what will be the policy for the future? More assisted living facilities built in the private sector where the government provides 50% of the costs and then more money to keep the businesses going.
It is just the way it is folks.

Survival of the fittest in the long term and continuing care system. Advocacy by all these folks means nothing because the political parties have no interest in seniors and the government is only interested in the bureaucrats and their careers. There is no public service. There is no interest in the public. But there is sure a lot of interest in handing over the care of seniors to the private sector developers as noted here in Hinton.


I guess at least nothing has changed in Alberta.  Indifference and apathy rule. Now I am only curious what will happen when the Wildrose folks come to power. Will we see more land developers making their retirement villages? I mean there was some attempt to do this before in Hinton:

http://www.hintonparklander.com/2013/11/04/private-developer-presents-plan-for-seniors-housing-and-care-facility


Private developer presents plan for seniors' housing and care facility

Martin Wissmath
Monday, November 4, 2013 6:17:24 MST PM
Christenson's plan is for an 'urban village' with housing for workers, seniors and assisted living around Parks West Mall. [Christenson Developments graphic]
Christenson's plan is for an 'urban village' with housing for workers, seniors and assisted living around Parks West Mall. [Christenson Developments graphic]

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An Edmonton developer presented a plan to the chamber of commerce Oct. 28 for more seniors' housing and designated assisted living in Hinton.
But the president of the Resident Care Foundation, which is fundraising for a long-term care facility, says she'd prefer a non-profit operation.
Greg Christenson, co-owner of Christenson Developments, gave a power-point presentation for the Hinton and District Chamber of Commerce luncheon at the Good Companions Hall Oct. 28. Christenson described a conceptual plan to build a seniors' village next to Parks West Mall. He envisions a four-storey building for apartments just west of where the Nova Lodge is now, and beside that a two-storey building with 40 beds for designated assisted living.
"Forty is a magical number," Christenson said, noting that it costs at least $70,000 a month to run a care facility. At a proposed rental rate of $1785 per bed, 40 would be enough revenue to break even ($71,400).
Christenson's plan includes a complex of two-storey townhouses north of the mall for workers of the facility to live.
"The idea is to build worker-friendly communities," Christenson said. The close proximity to the designated assisted living facility would mean workers would have no commuting time and would never be stuck in a snowstorm, he added.
Locating seniors' housing near the mall makes it possible for residents to access a variety of services without needing a vehicle or transit, Christenson noted.
"We advocate for the seniors' communities to be by the grocery stores, by the pharmacies," he said, adding that seniors' housing would also attract more businesses to the mall.
The company also offers a "life lease" option for seniors interested in an independent living apartment. Seniors could invest the equity of their home to lease a suite and significantly reduce their monthly rent, paying only operating costs.
For example, with a $300,000 investment, residents could lower their monthly rent from $2,560 to $560, according to the company's website (www.christenson communities.com).
The next step would be to secure a $3 million capital grant from Alberta Health Services, Christenson noted, adding he's been working on the plan for two years. It would take at least another three years to begin building.
Lynda Jonson, president of the Resident Care Foundation, said she likes the idea of seniors' housing around Parks West Mall, but would prefer an assisted living facility to be owned and operated by the town.
"Why can't we hire our own staff?" Jonson asked. "I don't want to make a big profit [from seniors], I just want to make sure the bills are always paid."
There is still the need for long-term care, Jonson noted, which Christenson's plan doesn't provide for.
Christenson suggested the Good Samaritan Mountain View Centre could upgrade back to a long-term care facility in order to help meet that need. The centre switched to designated assisted living, which doesn't provide the same level of medical attention, in 2005.
Chamber of commerce president Brian LaBerge said the presentation provided an option for how business may help meet the community's needs.
"This is a private sector solution to a potential problem," LaBerge said. "It really addresses an issue we have here, and that's keeping our seniors home." The seniors' housing and assisted living facility couldn't happen without "intense" involvement from the town, he added.
LaBerge suggested gatherings and discussions with the community should happen more often.
"There's a real advantage to expanding the discussion and to get all the ideas on the table," he said. "A model that would include some private [and] some public would seem to be something that's gonna make the most sense.... Profit is not a dirty word.
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Profit is indeed not a dirty word. But it is a problem when it is the only thing considered by the partners who control the continuing care system--the GOA, the health authorities (AHS and Covenant Health) and the continuing care providers. Profit is what it all about now and the feeding frenzy will reach it's climax when we elect the Wildrose Party in the next election. After all if the families first NDP folks can't do the work in the public sector what are we to do? It's private all the way I guess.
It's all about the dollar, the dollar bill yo!

I think this is going to be the way every one of these political parties shape the continuing care system in Alberta. It's all about the money. And for land developers who get 50% of their building costs paid for by the GOA and then additional cash for other requirements it's all profit.

http://www.continuingcarewatch.com/pdf/Privatizing%20Continuing%20Care.pdf
Presentation to SALT, September 11 2007: Privatizing Continuing Care

The Broda reports (1999 -2002) and related health care policy initiatives redefined the public role in continuing care services. Government responsibility for health care was redefined from direct service provider to setting strategic direction for the system through policy, legislation and standards; allocating resources; helping develop and support the health system; and administering provincial programs. Government would no longer be involved in building new housing facilities - from 1959 to 1993, government funded the construction of senior citizens’ homes.

Beginning in 1994, in recognition that public subsidies were necessary to support private capital investment, capital funding was made available to non-profit organizations to develop new seniors’ housing. By 2003, this funding was also available to private for-profit developers. Both for-profit and not-for-profit care centre operators have had access to pubic funding for construction costs, renovation and with the operating contracts; these subsidies are now being extended to supportive living facilities. 

There has not been a consolidated report of the public funding for continuing care facilities. I did find, in the ASCHA newsletters, a list of 2005/07 recent Rural Affordable Supportive Living capital grants to 17 private for-profit care facility operators which totaled $16.5 million. RASL is only one of the capital funding programs available. When you see a press release announcing “Provincial surplus helps create more housing in rural Alberta”, you need to look at the “Backgrounder” to discover, for example, that we’re paying $2.4 million for half the construction costs of a Continuum Health Care Holdings Ltd. project under the Rural Capital Projects Initiative, which will be supported by a long term operating contract with the health region, and undoubtedly made more profitable by deals with land purchase and other perks.

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No matter who we hire, the residents are the ones who are pretty much as the mercy of the partners in care --of which the families aren't partnered with. We're just the movable pieces on the continuing care game board.

http://www.continuingcarewatch.com/pdf/Privatizing%20Continuing%20Care.pdf
Presentation to SALT, September 11 2007: Privatizing Continuing Care

There is also no doubt that increasing numbers of people who apply for continuing care (including home care) are not being assessed for care which coincides with real life needs. The assessment criteria have traditionally been adjusted downward when the wait lists get out of control, assessed needs have more to do with services provided than with individual needs, and it’s all relative, anyway; the wait lists were cut in half when the “waiting in the community” category was dropped. If you’re not “urgent”, you can wait until you are. Or, you can buy private care, often in the same facilities that have contracts with the health regions for “designated” spaces.


The shift to “community care” and the “unbundling” of care services has market opportunities for private providers (I’ve seen a number of advertisements for home care service provider franchises, some of which are operating in Alberta). The ownership of operators is difficult to trace; most appear to be Alberta or Canadian owned, but it is possible that some may be connected with American health care providers.


Premier Stelmach has proudly been talking about the Lobbyist Act – so we’ll know who’s trying to influence public policy and decision-makers. The Muttart Foundation and Volunteer Alberta have initiated a lobby to exclude non-profit organizations from this registry. We know that the care facility and seniors’ housing operators, and their associations, have been heavily involved with lobbying for the changes we’ve seen to continuing care. We know that both the ACCA and ASCHA have been represented on Government committees: Broda had Carl Bond, owner of Summit Care Corporation and Travois Holdings and (then) President of the ALTCA; the legislative review committee for the Protection for Persons in Care Act had Carl Bond, Greer Black, president of Bethany Care Society and currently President of the ACCA; and Lyn Krutzfeldt, director of Central Park Lodge for Western Canada and also then a member of the Capital Health Authority Finance Committee and the Capital Health Peer Review Committee. We know that the Alberta Senior Citizens Housing Association and the Alberta Continuing Care Association were given funds to develop the Standards and are part of the ongoing Departmental review and implementation committees. 

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