More oversight needed at Alberta's Continuing Care facilities.

CALGARY, AB (January 28, 2015): Alberta Liberal Seniors Critic David Swann says more oversight and funding for continuing care centres is needed.

Staffing shortages and poor funding for continuing care centres was highlighted by the release of a hidden camera video showing an elderly women being pulled from her bed and dragged by the arm across the floor by a male at the Kipnes Centre for Veterans.

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According to media, the reports filed by staff at the Kipnes Centre indicated she fell out of bed with no mention of the other patient’s involvement. Staff at the facility say they found the women outside her room with the other patient nearby however, did not see him physically with the patient.

“There is a chronic lack of funding for the care of our seniors,” says Swann. “These continuing care homes are already stretched for resources, and they need more staff in order to provide the level of care residents and families expect.

“Many seniors are being left vulnerable in the very places their families are depending on to protect them from this kind of neglect and abuse.”

This incident isn’t the first we’ve seen of improper management of patients in care facilities. The Fanning Centre in Calgary is currently being reviewed by the Patient Advocate after reports of inadequate hygiene provided to its patients.

“This issue has gone on far too long,” says Swann. “No one should have to suffer like this in Alberta. It is morally repugnant. Our seniors and vulnerable populations deserve to be safe in their own homes and the province’s care facilities.”

Swann says seniors centres need to have the capacity to identify patients that are at a risk of hurting themselves or other residents, and to have the capacity to transfer high-risk patients into more secure areas or to different facilities. He would like to see a study into patient-caused injuries due to inappropriately placed residents. The study would need to review the occurrences of these injuries, the number of high-risk residents, which facilities have policies on patient-caused injuries, and follow them, and include recommendations on how to reduce the number of these incidents.

“It is time for this PC government to show it cares about the plight of elderly Albertans by expecting higher standards, stepping up monitoring, and increasing funding for more staff.”

Alberta Liberals are the only moderate, centrist alternative capable of delivering a strong economy AND a strong society through sound policy and solid fiscal management.

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