Presentation



To



 Minister Sue Stultz
Minister Responsible for Social Development - Seniors




by





Coalition For Seniors And Nursing Home Residents’ Rights






551 King Street, Fredericton, NB
September 20th, 2011



Topics


·         Long Term Care Act
·         Long-Term Care Placement
·         Eviction Notices Nursing Care Facilities
·         Nursing Care Selection Process
·         Nursing Care Facilities Age/ Disease
·         Senior Care Plan Time lines






























Coalition For Seniors And Nursing Home Residents” Rights
     Presentation - September 20th, 2011








Presentation to Minister Sue Stultz
Minister Responsible for Social Development – Seniors


The Coalition for Seniors and Nursing Homes Residents’ Rights appreciates the opportunity to make this presentation on policies that are important for senior’s quality of life.

The health, well-being and dignity of seniors should be a top priority for the government. Seniors want to live in dignity and respect while continuing to support the province they live in for their children and grandchildren.

The Coalition has set out six (6) areas it wishes to discuss and recommend for your consideration.

Long -Term Care Act

Recommendation: One

Governments have an obligation to ensure that seniors are given a priority by establishing a
Long -Term Care Act that would house all policies affecting seniors.

Rationale

Many polices affecting seniors are not protected under a Long-Term Care Act such as the seizing of assets to pay for nursing care.  We have already experienced the change in the Veteran’s disability pension being clawed back where it became an income due to an unrelated service injury.

The decision to not include the disability as income was made clear through the courts in 2005 whereby the disability pension was not to be considered as income and therefore should not be calculated as income.  Veterans are not required to include this as income on their income tax; this disability pension is issued to Veterans as a special pension for their pain and suffering while providing duty to their country.

References; Standard Family Contribution Policy January 2005

The Merchant Navy Veterans Compensation package Announced in February 2000 by the Federal Government is not accessed as an asset.

The VAC Veteran’s disability pension is not included when calculating the client contribution for his/her spouse in a residential facility.




Coalition for Seniors and Nursing Home Residents” Rights
       Presentation - September 20th, 2011

Long-Term Care Placement

Recommendation: Two

The government should seriously consider the congestion in hospitals by:

(a) Creating more advanced care beds outside the hospital system. (Appendix “B”)
(b) Implementing the 700 new nursing home beds as committed by the previous government.
(c) Re assessing individuals outside of the hospital setting.
(d) Moving forward to introduce a comprehensive home care program that provides 24/7 for those that require the service.
(e) That home support workers be the responsibility of the Regional Health Authorities.

Rationale

One of the major issues facing seniors and the health care system is the number of seniors staying in hospital while waiting for placement in a nursing home.

The recent data as of August, 2011 indicates that there are currently over 700 on the wait lists and 551 in hospital beds as of July of this year. These individuals could be better served in a different environment. We know the New Brunswick aging population will increase exponentially by 2036. (Appendix “A’) attached.

Hospitals are not proper settings for seniors in need of long-term care. Placement in proper establishments should be an immediate preoccupation of the government. The government has an obligation to provide nursing home beds as required by this category of seniors.

The Coalition believes that a comprehensive home care program for New Brunswickers would be better served if the Regional Health Authorities were responsible for the staffing of home support workers rather than contracting this group to agencies for an hourly rate of $16 per hour. Who better than the Regional Health Authorities would be knowledgeable of the flux of acute beds that could be utilized for those who require immediate medical needs?

The current home support system falls short of providing 24/7 care for those that require the service to enable them to continue to live in a home environment. There are many best practices that provide home care (24/7) where home support workers work under the jurisdiction of the Regional Health Authorities. One only has to look at the Manitoba comprehensive model.







Coalition for Seniors and Nursing Home Residents” Rights
      Presentation - September 20th, 2011

Eviction Notices - Nursing Care Facilities

Recommendation: Three
That the government develop a policy that protects residents’ of nursing care facilities from being evicted from their home placement, and work with senior organizations and organizations who may have a common interest for such a policy.
That all nursing care facilities manage intakes, transfers and discharges through a unified admission committee where an operator may bring issues with problem residents to an admissions committee.

If the facility is unable to arrange a workable agreement between the resident and the operator, the resident is placed on a transfer list to a suitable alternative placement providing the resident and family member agrees to the new facility of his or her choice.

Rationale

In New Brunswick, when residents are required to leave a nursing home, a community placement facility or a special care home, the required notice is fifteen (15) days. The department of Social Development does not have a policy to ensure that residents are protected from being evicted from the residence for whatever reason.

We know that many complaints are due to the quality of food being served in these establishments, lack of stimulation, and the list goes on. The number is increasing and many who are being evicted move silently because the system allows it to happen.

Many will not speak out for fear of reprisals especially in smaller communities where everyone knows everyone.  Those that speak out are accused of being disruptive. Seniors have pride in many ways and should be treated with respect and dignity.

In Prince Edward Island, both public and private facilities manage intakes, transfers and discharges through a unified admissions committee where an operator may bring issues with problem residents to an admissions committee if the facility is unable to arrange a workable agreement between the resident and the operator. If the committee is in agreement, the resident is placed on a transfer list to a suitable alternative facility.
In Alberta, Newfoundland, Nova Scotia, Saskatchewan, British Columbia, Manitoba, Ontario and Quebec no eviction policies or regulations exist.  Organizations that provide continuing care services have clear statements of when eviction would be considered and work with the families and government to avoid any eviction. These provinces work with family to build relationships to circumvent eviction.



Coalition for Seniors and Nursing Home Residents” Rights
       Presentation - September 20th, 2011
Nursing Care Selection Process

Recommendation: Four

That the government enforce a legislated requirement that nursing care facilities not be allowed to use a selection process by which they can choose whomever they want to care for in their facilities.

That nursing care facility be legislated to accept individuals on a first come first served basis.


Rationale

Seniors are caught in a political system that allows nursing care facilities to select who they want to care for in their facilities.  Seniors are occupying beds in hospitals because they can't get into nursing care facilities partly because of such a policy. It is a tough call when deciding to move to a nursing facility, it’s not an easy transfer for families and loved ones who need to receive quality care.

They are led to believe they will be transferred to a nursing care facility after making the selection of their choice but because they require greater care than others, they are being passed over. The government has an obligation to ensure that seniors receive placement in proper establishments and treated with respect and dignity.

 “Nursing Care Facilities” Age /Disease

Recommendation: Five

That the government make provision to accommodate residents who live in these facilities under such conditions and that all new facilities being opened provide accommodations that address the need for age/disease.


Rationale

Most nursing homes in New Brunswick do not provide accommodations that provide health care facilities for people with certain disease. The current facilities are taxed and very stressful with Alzheimer’s and dementia residents wandering from room to room unannounced.

Based on Census Canada, assaults, and homicides in health care institutions are high. Over three people a day are diagnosed with multiple sclerosis (MS). The government needs to address the issue of accommodating residents who live in these facilities under such condition.





Coalition for Seniors and Nursing Home Residents” Rights
      Presentation - September 20th, 2011

Senior Care Plan Time-lines

In Closing, with respect to” Putting New Brunswick first… For A Change” We thank the government:

1.       For acting on reinstating the $5.5 million home heating subsidy program;
2.       For taking the initiative to further consult on the property tax assessment for all home owners;
3.       For providing increases to home support workers of $11 per hour effective October 1, 2011.

The Coalition queries the Senior Care Plan time-lines for implementation.   We have not seen or heard of any further action with respect to the commitment outlined in the Senior Care Plan as promised. We would appreciate knowing the government plans of implementation.

We have attached a copy of the “Seniors Care Plan” for your easy reference.

Thank you for the opportunity to discuss the important policies that affect the aging population.

Respectfully submitted on Behalf of the Coalition for seniors And Nursing home Resident’s Rights


Debbie Ellison, President
Kathy Ervin, Secretary
Pat Goobie, Treasurer
Hector Cormier, Past President
Cecile Cassista, Executive Director












Coalition for Seniors and Nursing Home Residents” Rights
      Presentation - September 20th, 2011




      Monthly Waiting list
     April 2011 to July 2011
        (non-cumulative)

Location
April
May
June
July
August
September
October
November
December
Richibucto
44
38
41
41





Moncton
179
176







Saint John
244
265
274
276





St. Stephen
8
9
9
10





Fredericton
69
66
71
68





Woodstock
12
14
11
6





Edmundston
43
45
49
54





Restigouche
27
27
17
13





Bathurst
25
31
31
30





Peninsula
18
22
22
14





Miramichi
33
33
41
39





Total
702
726
566
551

















Appendix “A”
Monthly Wait List Issued by Social Development