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Seniors care horror stories highlight need for more oversight: Wildrose

EDMONTON, AB (May 8, 2013): The Wildrose Official Opposition is calling on the PC government to step up enforcement of Alberta’s accommodation standards after revealing appalling living conditions for residents in two southern Alberta assisted living facilities. 

With the support of Wildrose Strathmore-Brooks MLA Jason Hale, employees and family members of residents at two AgeCare facilities in Brooks travelled to Edmonton today to present their case to government and urge them to step in and enforce the accommodation standards that are in place. They told stories of their loved ones physically harmed by staff, denied basic nutrition and hygiene, and injured and then neglected while in care. They also said complaints aren’t addressed or followed up with. Hale has collected several written accounts of these examples. (Click here to read a personal account.) “There remain serious issues with the quality of seniors care in Alberta and we believe it is our job to expose them and press the government for answers,” Wildrose Official Opposition Leader Danielle Smith said. “Stories like these are unfortunately not at all uncommon. We have heard several just like these. We hope by bringing these concerns to the Legislature today, we will be able to have them addressed and ultimately give seniors the care they deserve.” The issues at the two Brooks facilities have been going on for years. Hale says concerned family members of residents have alerted government to the ongoing issues since 2011 – either through letters to elected officials or through official complaints  filed in accordance with the Protection for Persons in Care (PPC) legislation – but still have not seen improvement in the quality of care their loved ones received. Here are some examples from the written submissions Hale has received: “My dad was found on the floor, in his vomit, with not one person aware of when he was last checked on. When admitted to the hospital, weak, severely dehydrated, suffering with a urine infection, and several bed sores, the doctors were shocked at the state he was in and did not think he would survive the night.” – Tia Crapo, resident family member “I am a healthcare aide who was dismissed from Sunrise Garden for bringing up and expressing my concerns about the care and well-being of seniors. It concerns me that a facility is not being checked by an independent body if to make sure they follow the requirements and policies.” – Jack Peeters, former employee (Click here to read his letter.) “I have personally witnessed residents with bedsores from not being turned over often enough while being in the palliative stage.” – Anonymous family member “The food is horrific. I have seen fish fillets floating in water before being put on a plate. Chicken still pink. Pork and beef still raw. Not to mention salads with hard potatoes and green salads with lettuce gone bad. Garlic bread that is so hard that residents spend their time complaining about it and beating it off the table because it’s hard as rocks. Lasagna burnt and hard on top but raw in the middle.” – Anonymous current employee “No senior should ever have to endure what some of these families have gone through,” Hale said. “This is a basic matter of oversight and enforcement. This government is simply failing to adequately monitor and enforce the accommodation standards that are in place to ensure quality care for these seniors.” Wildrose Seniors Critic Kerry Towle said the examples coming out of Brooks aren’t uncommon. “There are still several facilities in this province that are failing to provide seniors with adequate care and it all comes back to enforcement. This government is asleep at the switch and seniors are suffering,” Towle said.