You Are Invited to Roundtable Discussion on a National Seniors Strategy

September 23, 2015

Join the Canadian Medical Association, the Alberta Medical Association and the Alberta Seniors Care Coalition for a Roundtable Discussion on Seniors Care. Add your voice to the conversation.

Wednesday, September 23, 7 to 9 p.m.

DoubleTree by Hilton West Edmonton at 16615 – 109 Ave NW


One response to “You Are Invited to Roundtable Discussion on a National Seniors Strategy”

  1. Susan Kennard says:

    Hello. I live in Banff and will not be able to attend. Will there be a social media component to this round table?

    My sisters and I have done everything we can to help our parents at this stage of their life. When they were living at home they had 4 hrs/day of Home Care provided by the Alberta government and it was EXCELLENT. Since leaving their home they have faced institutional challenges and systemic gaps in the seniors health care system that have all but broken their spirit and decimated their confidence – not to mention all of the stress the rest of the family deals with trying to make things ‘right’. My parents left their Calgary home of 40 years in April 2014 to move to a private assisted living facility that sold us on the concept that they had 3 levels of care. Sept 2014 they made my Father leave due to his increasing dementia condition (even though this facility has a locked down dementia ward). My Father is now at Colonel Belcher LTC in NW Calgary. Here is my Mother’s story. (apologies but this is a cut and paste from a FB post I wrote 3 weeks ago to share with private network of friends online)
    Something happened to my family on Friday that I cannot get off my mind. I do not know how to fix it and don’t think I can. I just want to say it, share it and get if off my chest. This is not about having a pity party – no sympathies required. I am just pissed off and want to change the *%$# health care system for seniors.

    About 10 days ago my Mother was hospitalised for a medication interaction. The Dr’s adjusted her meds and all returned to normal. She is old and has mobility issues (ie cannot walk) but she is still her own boss. For those of you who have met the indomitable person she is – she is still Stella. She lives in an assisted living facility 2 bedroom apartment (and pays 7k a month to be there which you would think buys a substantial amount of assistance but it does not!), drives a scooter, controls her own finances, gets her hair done once a week, visits her husband of 60 years who now lives in a different care home on the opposite side of the city, knows who Rhianna is and what Uber does..etc. On Friday the assisted living facility my Mother lives in Revera -McKenzie Towne (Revera “Inc. is a leading provider of retirement living homes, retirement communities in Canada and the US”) told my family that due to her increased care needs my Mother cannot return to her apartment. Alberta Health Services informs us that because Revera is a private company they are allowed to kick my Mother out. So now my Mother has no home of her own and is living in the South Calgary hospital without any medical reasons to keep her there. All the next level of care facilities in the city are full. Currently there is no place for her to go. So what is keeping me up at night?

    1) Due to decades of a lack of public funded capital investment in our seniors health care system the private sector has filled the gap. The private sector has built the vast majority of new seniors care facilities over the past 10 years…but the catch is their business model only works for seniors who are basically independent and do not need an elevated level of care.
    2) When those seniors start to impact the bottom line of the private sector health care profit model the care management companies have full agency to just get rid of them. Our loved ones are dumped back in the public health care realm…except the government has not invested in seniors health for decades (see point 1).
    3) In Alberta our government funded long term care facilities are for the most part old (1970’s) over crowded buildings with two beds per tiny room, doorways that are too narrow for electric wheelchairs, common bathrooms down the hallway and limited to no capacity to differentiate across levels of care. People with full blown dementia or those who have become completely debilitated by strokes etc and require 24 hour care are living side by side with people who have no cognitive impairment but are there because they have arthritis and need assistance with mobility transfers. Word of warning – when you get old forget about Peer to Peer contexts – it ain’t happening.
    4) The few modern government funded care facilities in the City of Calgary have wait lists that are years long. The advice our family is being given by Alberta Health Services is to accept whatever ‘bed’ becomes available for my Mother…have her move there and then her priority status will be increased because she will be somewhere she does not want to be and this will increase her chances of getting into one of the ‘good places’.

    How can we possibly rationalise that being on a list for a ‘bed’ is an adequate situation for a person who is in good health and could easily have another 10 years of good quality life ahead of her – or for anyone for that matter! Can you imagine being in this situation? Homeless and stuck in a hospital waiting for a bed to become available somewhere in the city so you can be ‘DECANTED’ by Alberta Health Care services to a random place in the hopes that you can get moved eventually to another place at some point in the unknown future. Inexcusabley this is the norm for countless seniors! All this talk about caring communities. WTF!

    I found this article on the web today. The author frames one aspect of this systemic and pervasive issue in a way I can relate to.…/banning-bed-blockers-and-r…

    PS. My Mother has now been in the South Calgary Hospital for no medical reason for since the last week of August. We have been told that my Mother needs to have a RYE (WRY)? Test to assess what kind of facility she can go too. My Mother had a full RYE test less than 2 months ago and the result was that she should go to LTC. She has been on the waitlist for Garrison Green since Sept 2014. Now that she is hospitalised we have been told that she has to redo the RYE test and her wait list status to move to a suitable LTC facility is suspended until they do this RYE test again. She has been in the hospital for 3 weeks now and the RYE evaluation has still not happened.

    We have failed our seniors.

    Susan Kennard
    403 763 0710

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