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Nursing Home Waitlist March 2022



Golden Years 2022 women missing

 UPDATE: Seniors advocate presses for answers after woman's death

RCMP and Tri-County Ground Search and Rescue conducted a search Friday night and Saturday morning for a woman who went missing from a nursing home off Salisbury Road.

RCMP and Tri-County Ground Search and Rescue conducted a search Friday night and Saturday morning for a woman who went missing from a nursing home off Salisbury Road.

Seniors' advocate Cecile Cassista is calling for an independent investigation after an 83-year-old woman was reported missing from a special care home Friday night and was found Saturday afternoon, but died in the ambulance on the way to hospital.

"This tragedy needs to be investigated by the department of social development," said Cassista of Riverview, who is executive director of the New Brunswick Coalition for Seniors and Nursing Home Residents' Rights, and a Riverview town councillor.

In a letter to the Department of Social Development, Cassista says reforms are needed.

"A person has died as a result of reforms not being implemented to protect the most vulnerable people of society," she says in a letter to the Department of Social Development. "There should be proactive inspections, data gathering and tracking that would allow reforms to take place."

She said more measures are needed to protect vulnerable seniors from harm while they are in the care of homes run by private owners.

Codiac Regional RCMP said Saturday that an 83-year-old woman who went missing from a Moncton special care home Friday evening was found alive Saturday afternoon but died in the ambulance. The missing woman was identified by RCMP as Gloria Mitton, but the name was removed from its news release after she was found.

Sgt. Chris MacKenzie-Plante said the woman was found near the CN Rail Humpyard off Salisbury Road, shortly after 1 p.m., about one kilometre from where she went missing.

"When located, the woman was in medical distress," RCMP said in a news release Saturday afternoon. "First aid was administered on scene by RCMP members and she was transferred to the care of Ambulance New Brunswick. The woman died before being transported to hospital."

RCMP helicopter, dog team and the Tri-County Ground Search and Rescue organization joined in the search for the woman, who was reportedly last seen at the Golden Years nursing home Friday around 6:30 p.m.

The search area was off Salisbury Road in west Moncton between the Spencer Memorial Home and the Fair Haven Cemetery. Searchers were seen along Salisbury Road Saturday morning and along the Humpyard Road, which leads to the CN Rail Humpyard. RCMP and searchers set up a command post on Jabez Street, next to the nursing home where she was last seen. Just after 1 p.m., ambulances were called to the scene on the Humpyard Road. 

The weather in Moncton Friday night was rainy with high winds. On Saturday morning, it was overcast with showers and temperatures around 8 Celsius, but had turned sunny and warm by noon.

"The death of a resident from the Golden Years Estate facility is very regrettable; our hearts go out to the family and to other residents and staff," Jan Seely, president of the New Brunswick Special Care Association, said in an e-mailed statement to the Times & Transcript Sunday. She confirmed the facility is a member of the association, which represents more than than 400 special care homes with 6,000 residents and 5,000 staff. 

Seely said special care homes, unlike nursing homes, are not required to have electronic door security because residents assessed as Level 2 typically do not have significant cognitive challenges. She said the association had no knowledge of the woman's physical and mental status.

"We offer our support to the home and to the Department of Social Development in attempting to determine the facts of the situation and how to prevent such sad situations in future,” Seely said.

The Times & Transcript reached out to the home by telephone and email for comment but received no response Sunday.


Nursing Home Waitlist February 2022


Living on Credit

 Living on credit': Seniors advocate seeks help on oil bills

Cecile Cassista

The skyrocketing cost of home heating fuel has a New Brunswick senior citizens’ advocate calling on governments for help.

Cecile Cassista of the New Brunswick Coalition of Seniors said heating costs are always a concern for seniors.

“Whether it’s oil, gas, or electricity, it has been a costly year for seniors, particularly low-income seniors who are only making below $19,000 with the GIS,” she said.

She said the organization has always lobbied for assistance for seniors in paying their heating bills, now more so than ever.

“The coalition policy has been for years that heating is a necessity, a commodity and that no tax should be charged to the bill. We recommend that all residential heating be eligible for a PST (eight per cent) rebate and that the low income benefit of $400 be increased to $500," she said.

“What seniors are telling me is that with the rise in (the cost of) groceries they are not able to purchase quality food. There are seniors that resort to the food banks because their income does not carry them to the end of the month. It just appears this group tends to be forgotten about.”

The newspaper did not receive comment from the Finance and Treasury Board by publication time.

Increase forcing tough decisions

Other seniors say it sometimes comes down to a choice on which bill to pay.

“Seniors on fixed incomes and living in their own homes have to cut back on food and other necessities to make ends meet,” said Anne Melanson of Bathurst. “Many, with the increasing costs of so many items, are living on credit.”

And it’s not only seniors who are feeling the pinch of the soaring cost of furnace oil, which combined with colder than normal temperatures, has led to more spending on home heating and less money for other things.

Brenda Letourneau of Campbellton said she usually spends about $2,000 for oil each winter and is on pace to surpass that amount by a large margin.

“I keep the house at 22, so it’s not like it’s overly warm in here,” she said. “I am on equalized billing from September to June and I’m already $300 over that.”

She said she has receipts from last year, where she paid 94.9 cents per litre of oil and when she last had the tank filled up it was at $1.339 per litre, an increase of more than 40 per cent. As of March 11, the price for a litre of oil was $1.602, down from $1.834 the day before.

Impacting travel

John Belliveau lives in an older two storey home in Dalhousie Junction. He said he has already spent more on oil this winter than he usually does for a full winter season.

“I spend about $4,000 to heat the house every winter and that’s where we’re at now. The cost has gone up so much and the weather has been so cold that I will be paying this off until next year.”

As a result of the higher cost of furnace oil and the colder than normal winter, he said vacations will likely be put on hold for this summer.

“I was planning on going to a car show in Moncton and maybe a wedding in Halifax but with oil as high as it is and likely going higher before the winter is over, it doesn’t look like I will be able to now.”

Furnace oil, as well as gasoline, is regulated by the New Brunswick Energy and Utilities Board which can make changes on a day where the market price goes either above or below a threshold. The price is normally adjusted every Wednesday night but last week, it was adjusted three times in four days. 

Currently, the maximum price a company can charge for home heating fuel is $1.602 per litre.


Going to Fast - Restrictions

 Going to fast to lift the restrictions 

With over 500 Health  professionals off the job it is clearly not a good feeling for the most vulnerable people of society.
Concerned of a similar setback to what took place last August. No one wants another lock down. Taking it slower makes a lot more sense.

We still have Care facilities under lockdown.  Loved ones locked in their rooms with no visitation. They don’t understand the rational for this. Designated person was designed for entry during the pandemic. The meaning of designated has been lost.

Cecile Cassista 
107 Summerdale Ct
Riverview, NB
Pronoun: she/her/hers
506  850 8286
Twitter —@CassistaCecile


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