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Mar 16, 2017

P.E.I. planning review of long-term care: minister

Feb 2, 2017

Cameras could be coming to Quebec long-term care homes

The Quebec government will examine a proposal that would allow residents in long-term care facilities to decide for themselves if they want cameras installed their rooms, according to documents obtained by Radio-Canada.

The guidelines, set to be studied Wednesday during parliamentary hearings into legislation aimed at cracking down on elder abuse, specify that residents or their legal representatives can make the decision without "prior authorization from the institution."

The cameras can be visible or camouflaged.

The provincial government is also proposing that neither authorities nor employees be advised of the presence of a camera, a move welcomed by Jean-Pierre Ménard, a lawyer specializing in patients' rights.

Ménard says there have been cases where staff treated residents differently once alerted of a monitoring device in the room.

"There was even a case where the patient was boycotted because they knew there was a camera," Ménard said.

Paul Brunet, chairman of the Quebec Council for the Protection of Patients, supports the proposal but adds that cameras wouldn't be needed if the government was more diligent.

"Let's make sure that we have appropriate employees with appropriate supervision," he told CBC News.

Part of the reason residents have been pushing for cameras is because past grievances fell on deaf ears until video evidence was presented, he said.

The proposal does, however, include a few safeguards.

The monitoring devices will no be allowed to be placed in common areas such as hallways and dining rooms and will be limited in their ability to take pictures "of people who are not targeted."

The parliamentary committee the proposed legislation, Bill 115, is set to continue throughout the week.

Feb 2, 2017

Widower files suit against long-term care home

Fred and Alma Rieser were married for 59 years.

“We had such a good marriage,” said the 84-year-old Fred.

“In 59 years, we never had a disagreement, we never had an argument. We always were together 24 hours a day.”

When it became clear that Alma could no longer live at home without assistance, the couple made the decision to have her move into a long-term care facility.

“We never saw anything other than eye to eye so when the decision had to be made, we made it together,” Rieser said.

After careful consideration, they chose Millennium Trail Manor. It was a decision Fred Rieser said he now regrets.

Alma, then 88, fell ill in early 2016 and was given medication to treat symptoms of what appeared to be an infection. Over a four-day period, her health declined and she subsequently died from pneumonia.

Rieser visited his wife daily and claims the staff never discussed with him whether he wanted his wife to be treated at the Oakwood Drive long-term care home or for her to be transferred to a hospital.

Rieser was his wife’s substitute decision maker. Under the Health Care Consent Act, in the event that someone is unable to make a health care decision, the person’s substitute decision maker is responsible for making a decision on his or her behalf.

The widower filed a civil suit against Millennium Trail Manor in December, after reviewing a report made by the Ministry of Health and Long Term Care based on a complaint he filed shortly after his wife’s death.

The ministry found that the home failed to comply with several regulations under the Long Term Care Homes Act, including failing to ensure the “resident’s substitute decision maker was given an opportunity to participate fully in the development and implementation of the resident’s plan of care.”

The report, released in July, said the licensee also “failed to ensure that the resident was reassessed and the plan of care was reviewed and revised at least every six months and at any other time when the resident’s care needs changed,” which is also required under the act.

The ministry report does not name the resident but Rieser confirmed the subject of the report was his wife.

The ministry also noted the facility did not follow proper procedure when completing the Institutional Patient Death Record, which notifies the coroner’s office of a resident’s death.

Questions on the form included “has the family or any of the care providers raised concerns about the care provided by the deceased?”

Staff indicated “no” on the form, according to the report, even though the resident’s decision maker had indicated to staff he was upset about the cause of death.

Rieser believes his wife may have survived if she had been transferred and treated in hospital.

The civil suit, filed Dec. 14, names Millennium Trail Manor, Niagara Falls physician Dr. Hemraj Porwal and Conmed Health Care Group, a private company that owns the long-term care home.

The civil suit is calling for $300,000 for “general and special damages.”

The statement of claim, filed at the Superior Court of Justice in St. Catharines by Niagara Falls lawyer Margaret Hoy, claims the defendants “failed to assess or provide a plan of care” when Alma fell ill.

It goes on to claim the “missed diagnoses and treatment” she received resulted in her developing “severe and permanent complications which caused her death.”

The allegations have not been proven in court and a statement of defence on behalf of the defendants has not been filed with the courts.

Lori Turcotte, administrator at Millennium Trail Manor, said she could not comment specifically on the issue as it is currently before the courts but said the facility provides all residents with the best possible care.

Feb 2, 2017

Long-Term Care Advocates Call on Trudeau Government to Invest in Seniors Care

OTTAWA, Feb. 2, 2017 /CNW/ - Canada needs to modernize long-term care infrastructure so that we are able to provide the complex care needed by our aging seniors, says the Canadian Association for Long Term Care (CALTC). The Association, which represents approximately 150,000 of residents living in long-term care and long-term care operators across Canada, descended on Parliament Hill today to call on the Trudeau government to make improvements to the care provided to seniors in long-term care, when they can no longer live at home.

"We applaud the Trudeau government for putting capital funding aside to rebuild Canada's infrastructure and committing to improve care for our seniors. Part of this funding should be used to partner with provincial governments to build new long-term care homes and modernize old ones," says Candace Chartier, Chair, Canadian Association for Long Term Care (CALTC). "Our seniors are coming into long-term care more frail than ever before and their needs have risen dramatically. Modern homes are designed to care for these complex needs and our seniors deserve this kind of care."

CALTC points to population projections which shows the number of seniors age 65 and older will rise by 25% by 2036, and the number of seniors 80 and over will double between 2011 and 2036. New data also shows seniors entering long-term care suffer from multiple chronic conditions, including 87% of residents are affected by Alzheimer's or other dementias. This number is expected to double by 2031.

In a report to the federal government, entitled Caring for Canada's Seniors, CALTC makes several recommendations on how the federal government should proceed in order to meet the needs of our aging population, including:

  • Set aside a portion of its infrastructure fund to modernize and rebuild older long-term care homes and build new ones;
  • Mandate and invest in a standardized data system for long-term care homes to measure resident satisfaction, quality of care and financial performance;
  • Encourage Canadians to save for their care needs later in life by developing a Seniors Care Savings Plan or allowing Canadians to use existing savings to pay for their care needs when they can no longer live at home.

"When we invest in our long-term care system it translates into better care for our seniors when and where they need it the most. There are still too many seniors getting 24/7 care in the hospital where it costs the system almost seven times more than in a long-term care home," says Chartier. "With a renewed commitment from the federal government to invest in long-term care we will be better prepared to care for the growing needs of our aging population."

About the Canadian Association for Long Term Care (CALTC)The Canadian Association for Long Term Care (CALTC) is a national organization comprised of provincial associations and long-term care providers that deliver publicly-funded health care services for seniors across Canada.

CALTC members represent care providers responsible for the employment of Canadians and delivering quality care to Canada's most vulnerable residents each day. For more information:

Feb 2, 2017

Arnprior seeking more long-term care beds

Arnprior’s only nursing home is pleading with the provincial government to approve a plan that would drastically increase the number of long-term care beds in that city.

The Grove Regional Health Centre, a not-for-profit facility run by the Arnprior Regional Health Centre, is seeking to increase its bed count from 60 to 96 as part of a massive redevelopment. Plans are ready to build a new, larger facility with greater services and to turn the current space into affordable homes for seniors.

But before shovels hit the ground, the centre needs to get new licenses from the provincial government. The President and CEO of Arnprior Regional Health Eric Hanna said getting that approval is proving to be a difficult task.

“Right now the government is suggesting that there are no additional licenses right now,” Hanna said.

There are more than 78,000 long-term care beds across Ontario and Hanna said licenses are required for every bed.

Since 2003, The Ministry of Health said more than 10,000 new beds have been developed, and more than 13,5000 older beds have been redeveloped. It is unclear how many beds have closed in that same time frame.

Gert Murphy lives in Arnprior but was unable to get her husband of 58-years into the Grove. Bill Murphy was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s five years ago, and has been living at a nursing home in Stittsville for the last year. Gert said she tried to get Bill into The Grove but couldn’t because the facility wasn’t secure enough for him and had no room.

“He was wandering and they didn’t have secure facilities and they wouldn’t take anyone who had a chance of getting out,” Murphy said.

Rebuilding and redeveloping the facility, Hanna said, would give The Grove more beds along with greater resources to help take care of people with dementia.

For people like Gert Murphy, it would also make life easier and more convenient.

“I could go there every day and feed him his lunch or meals and it would be a lot easier,” she said.

The Chair of the Greater Arnprior Seniors Council Darrel O'Shaughnessy said this plan would help reduce long wait lists while also providing equitable care to the community.

“A lot of the residents, they want to be here. A lot of them want to continue living here and they want to die here,” said Darrel O’Shaunghnessy, the chair of the Greater Arnprior Regional Seniors Council.

Hanna says more than 300 facilities like the Grove have been on the province’s redevelopment plan for more than 18 months, but only 10 or so have been approved.

“More licenses will help a lot of homes like ours build with appropriate capacity,” he said.

The Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care said more than 30,000 LTC beds in more than 300 LTC homes will be updated to current design standards by 2025.

Feb 2, 2017

Long term care assault

A brutal attack over the weekend sent James Acker, an 85 year old resident at St. Joseph’s villa to the hospital with black eyes, swollen cheeks and blood in his brain. Police say they were called for an assault between two residents. According to Acker’s family, both of them have dementia and Acker was sound asleep in his private room at 2 am on Saturday when the other resident walked in.

The family is now calling on the Ministry of Health to put an end to the violence. Acker’s daughter Tammy says this isn’t the first time he has been assaulted at St. Joseph’s villa. In September of last year a sexual assault took place on Acker.

The victims family believes the Ministry of Health should do more to prevent resident-on-resident attacks. Ontario’s chief coroner has previously called on the province to take action after 13 homicides were investigated at long term care homes back in 2013 and 2014. Hamilton police say the assailant in this case is not facing criminal charges.

“The police said that he couldn’t be because he’s a dependant. It’s in the hands of St. Joseph’s villa.” Tammy.

The president of the villa says quote: “incidents of this nature are prevalent in long term care homes and that they review every option to ensure the safety and security of the residents.”

Acker’s family will meet with the president of St. Joseph’s villa in Hamilton to try and get their questions answered.

News of this assault in Hamilton comes as Peel police charge an 82 year old man with manslaughter after attacking another resident at the Camilla Care community in Mississauga.

Dec 21, 2016

Christmas in a P.E.I. nursing home: 'They make it feel as if it is our home'

"Bah Humbug," says Marjorie Gallant with a hearty laugh, recalling a line from her performance as Ebenezer Scrooge at the Beach Grove Home last year.

'We have a lot of people that just take that whole concept and just run with it.'— Andrew MacDougall, P.E.I. director of long-term care

Like many of her fellow residents at the Charlottetown long-term care facility, Gallant said she enjoys the Christmas season, with dozens of activities organized by staff or family members.

Last year, that included acting as Scrooge in the famous play A Christmas Carol.

"We are never a day without, hardly a day without doing something," she said.

Staff at nursing homes across the Island often try to go "above and beyond during this season," said Andrew MacDougall, the provincial director of long-term care.

Staff know that some residents are alone at Christmas, so they organize everything from gift exchanges to a big dinner, he said.

This year at Beach Grove, volunteers came in a few days before Christmas and filled up the boardroom with hot air balloons and wrapped presents.

"Not everyone is blessed to have a vast network of friends or family," MacDougall pointed out. "So extra special care is taken to recognize people who perhaps are struggling this time of the year."Nursing homes across the province often try to go 'above and beyond during this season' says Andrew MacDougall, P.E.I.'s director of long-term care. (Angela Walker/CBC)

But it's not just the seniors that spend Christmas at P.E.I.'s nursing homes — Staff are also required to be there 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

It's very noble of the employees to work over the holiday season, MacDougall said, and many come with the right attitude.

"We have a lot of people that just take that whole concept and just run with it," he said.

Family members and volunteers often also gather to celebrate Christmas at the nursing home. Many of them organize parties or outings for the seniors during the holidays, MacDougall noted, such as trips to the curling rink.

Patricia MacMillan, another Beach Grove resident, said her daughter leads a choir that involves regular practices with the residents and a play.

The music makes Christmas that much more special, MacMillan said.

"They make it feel as if it is our home, which it is," she said.

Dec 21, 2016

CUPE backs Gelinas bill on long-term care

The Canadian Union of Public Employees is backing a private member's bill introduced by Nickel Belt MPP France Gelinas that would mandate a minimum four hours of hands-on care for residents in long-term care homes.

Gelinas introduced, Bill 33, the Time to Care Act, in October and it passed first reading.

Hundreds of CUPE members are employed in long-term care homes, where most residents are 80 years of age or older and have multiple, complex health problems.

Gelinas, the New Democrats' Health and Long-Term Care critic, introduced the bill in the last session of the Legislature, but it died on the order paper when Premier Kathleen Wynne prorogued the Legislature.

It's been difficult getting people to pay attention to the need for more long-term care hours, said Gelinas. "The only time it is in the news is when something goes drastically wrong."

It's clear to anyone who has a loved one in long-term care that "it's not the staff that's not doing a good job. It's just there's not enough of them to meet the needs of residents," said the MPP, a physiotherapist and former executive director of a community health centre.

The needs of those residents have increased "exponentially," said Gelinas. "Yet the resources to care for them have barely moved."

She called the shortage of staff in long-term care a recipe for disaster. "And everything shows us it's a recipe for disaster."

In the last three years, there have been 25 homicides in long-term care homes. About 77,000 Ontarians live in long-term care.

"Name me a town of 77,000 people where you would have 25 homicides and that wouldn't ring bells," said Gelinas. "If it happened anywhere but long-term care, tons of resources would be brought in to get to the bottom of it, to make sure people are safe, but none of that is happening for our loved ones."

Because long-term care homes don't have to report the hours of care they provide to residents, "we don't even know where we're at," said Gelinas.

Some of the 650 residences in the province, the majority of them privately owned, share those figures "just because they're behind the campaign."

Anyone with a loved one in care can see staff running and rushing, said Gelinas, and not able to meet the needs of residents.

"This is not acceptable to me and this is not acceptable to any of us who has a loved one" in care, she said.

CUPE officials say there is research that shows the need to increase the hours of care for long-term care residents, and that people with dementia could especially benefit from that increase.

Dec 21, 2016

Falls long-term care home investigated by ministry

A private long-term care home in Niagara Falls is being investigated by the Ministry of Health and Long Term Care.

Ministry spokesman David Jensen said it conducted a complaint inspection over allegations of abuse and improper care at Bella Senior Care Residence between July 26 and Oct. 6.

The inspection report included 23 written notifications, 12 voluntary plans of correction, eight compliance orders and seven director referrals, he said.

Jensen said compliance orders were issued in the areas of police notification; plan of care; transferring and positioning; duty to protect from abuse and neglect; quality improvement; registered dietitian hours; infection prevention and control; and responsive behaviours.

He said additional non-compliances were identified related to reporting to the director; Resident Bill of Rights related to abuse; implementation of the abuse policy; actions taken in response to abuse, skin and wound care; continence care and bowel management; training of staff; medication administration and storage of medications; general program requirements; and complaints process.

A compliance order is issued by a ministry inspector to a long-term care home to correct an area of non-compliance where they are not meeting a standard cited in the Long-Term Care Homes Act, said Jensen.

“The compliance order for police notification has been complied with,” he said.

“The due date for all other compliance orders has not yet passed.”

Jensen said Bella Senior Care Residence was required to notify Niagara Regional Police of information they were aware of, as per the Long-Term Care Homes Act.

“Section 98 of the regulation requires that the licensee of a long-term care home immediately notify the appropriate police force of any alleged, suspected or witnessed incident of abuse or neglect of a resident that the licensee suspects may constitute a criminal offense,” he said.

Niagara Regional Police spokeswoman Const. Virginia Moir said detectives are investigating and “no other information is available at this time.”

The ministry licenses the long-term care home on Willoughby Drive, which opened in 2003.

Jensen would not say whether any employees at Bella have been relieved of their duties as part of the investigation.

“It is the responsibility of the licensee to manage human resources in the home, including the hiring and retention of management, as well as frontline staff. The ministry does not play a role in those decisions,” he said.

“The ministry is aware that the home has taken action regarding a number of staff in the home.”

Jensen said the home remains open, and continues to provide care for its 161 residents.

He said a cease of admissions was issued Nov. 24 due to compliance issues in the home.

The cease of admissions directs the Community Care Access Centre not to admit any more residents into the home.

Residents who are currently living at the home are not affected by the cease of admissions, said Jensen.

“The ministry continues to monitor the situation at Bella Senior Care through regular follow-up inspections, and ongoing contact with the licensee,” he said.

“Follow-up inspections will be completed for each compliance order.”

A call to Bella Senior Care Residence seeking comment was referred to the administrator’s office Tuesday.

A list of questions was referred to Michael Bausch, acting administrator.

Bausch did not directly answer the specific e-mail questions, but provided a general statement Wednesday.

“Let me assure you that at Bella Senior Care, our number one priority is to ensure that the residents we care for receive the best care and service possible,” he said.

“Historically, Bella has had a strong tradition of resident and family satisfaction, something we will look to ensure continues moving forward.”

Bausch confirmed the ministry recently conducted an inspection at Bella, and there “will be an obligation for us to take action in a few areas.”

“We take our responsibility for resident safety very seriously and will be working with our staff, our residents and our families to ensure that there are processes in place to address any and all concerns which are brought to light,” he said.

“Further, and where warranted, we will ensure that appropriate training is provided to staff to ensure that we continue to meet our obligations under relevant legislation and regulations, and according to sound principles of long term care, thereby upholding our strong history of customer satisfaction in the community.”

Dec 21, 2016

Fraser Health finds not all seniors in long-term care should be there

Costly long-term residential care beds are being occupied by some seniors who shouldn’t be in them, according to a review by Fraser Health.

About eight per cent of the 8,000 seniors in long-term care beds in the Fraser Health area would be classified as having “light physical or cognitive needs” and could have been supported in the community. Instead, they were wrongly assessed and referred by their physician, a hospital liaison, home health care liaison or community care professional to a long-term residential care facility.

“Recently, we had opened 403 new residential care beds and in light of the beds being opened, we looked at our (long-term care) residential capacity,” explained Tasleem Juma of the Health Authority. “We found a number of people being advised to go into residential care that could have been supported in the community.”

Fraser Health Authority held four information sessions on admission rules and procedures in late November and about 300 professionals showed up. Juma said the sessions were designed to help the professionals doing the assessments understand who should and who shouldn’t be referred to long-term residential care.

“It’s a beginning step to a wider conversation on how we can better support residents at home,” she said.

“We found light-care seniors, with no cognitive or physical difficulties, in residential beds. After people had sold their homes, the default situation would be they would go into residential care but you don’t have to do that — you could go into assisted living or downsize to an apartment and have support. We need to use the (long-term residential beds) we have efficiently and deliver it to the population who need it and when they need it.”

Juma said the vast majority of seniors want to stay in their homes for as long as possible.