Message to Mike Murphy Posted December 31, 2010

Email sent to Mike Murphy December 31, 2010

Dear Mr. Murphy

 I read with interest in today's Telegraph Journal with respect to comments made, reference to smaller nursing homes for residents / seniors. Mr. Murphy let me remind you that residents in nursing homes are level 3 and 4. These residents are for the most part ill and frail and require nursing care.
Nursing homes are an extension of hospital and rightly so these residents should receive quality nursing care.

We already experience in Special Care homes Level 1& 2, (Privately operated where seniors are being evicted for speaking out because they are served food they do not like and have no stimulation for the most part. It's all about profits on the back of seniors. 

Seniors want to live in their own homes/ dwellings as long as they can. Home care in New Brunswick should be high in all government agenda, after all it's cheaper to live at home than in nursing facilities.  One only has to look at the home care program in Manitoba; New Brunswick should take lessons from this province. Workers are paid well; receive benefits and a pension plan.

We have an excellent Extra Mural program created by the conservative government, (Brenda Robertson) who was the creator of this program. This model should be built upon. Caregivers should be under the umbrella of the Extra Mural program, they would receive benefits, fair wages, and improved working conditions.

The present system only continues to exploit workers who want to care for the elderly, who are mostly women, who love taking care of the elderly but cannot continue to afford to work in this environment, which results in high turnover in staff which creates difficulty for our seniors because they do not have continuity of quality care.

Agencies receive $15 per hour, but there is no legislation to protect the caregivers who care about the work they do.  We should look at best practices in Canada before looking abroad. Let's start with Home Care.

I look forward to your earliest response in this regard.
Cecile Cassista
Executive Director