Monday, June 29, 2009

Long Term Care placement requires forward thinking

In this weekends paper, there was an article regarding Jean and Gord Vigars who live in St. Thomas, ON. Due to declining health Jean was moving to a Long Term Care facility however, there was only one available bed in the system, which meant that Gord, would being living alone for the first time in nearly 70 years. The question is, why can't they move into the same facility together??

The reason is that, although the Community Care Access Care system gives priority to couples during placement, this couple would have needed to put their names on a waiting list years ago to ensure that they could go where they wanted, together.

Until changes are made to the way that placements are assigned, I tell my clients that if you want to stay together, or even if you are alone and want to live at a specific long term care facility, you need to ask your Community Care Access placement co-ordinators how long the wait times are, to get into the home of your choosing and act now.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Geriatric Floor - Graceful way to age

Anyone who has had an elderly person ill recently knows that being sick and elderly can be a very difficult combination. My friends and clients know, all to well, my concerns with the way our elderly are treated in many hospitals. I am pleased to compliment Scarborough Grace Hospital on their use of a Geriatric Ward to care for our chronically ill, aging population. On the floor, there are both volunteers and extra staff who ensure that, not only the physical needs of the patients are cared for, but basic aspects of daily living, too, are covered. There is always lots of people around to help and their courteous and friendly manner relieves tension for people at a very stressful time. More hospitals, particularly with our aging population, need to consider a special ward with highly specialized care for the chronically, ill and aging patients. Now....if we could just fix the wait times in the emergency rooms for our seniors but that is another topic for another day. Hats off to Scarborough Grace!

Friday, June 5, 2009

Elders need caring family and advocates

On the weekend there was an article discussing that Scarborough's Craiglee Nursing Home is now being temporarily run by Extendicare after the original owners went into Receivership. This Long Term Care Home was sited with major violations in patient care including the discovery of worms in a patients wound. This is an appalling case of neglect but I want people to know that not all homes are created equal. Standards set by the Ministry of Health and Long Term Care would not allow for this kind of neglect but standards only count when people running organizations are able and willing to meet or exceed the standard. This also speaks to the greater issue that our Elderly need family and advocates to oversee their care even when placed in a facility.