Saturday, September 6, 2008

Hearing Aids Cleaned

Dad had been so frustrated with his hearing or lack thereof. He had been having his ears cleaned weekly, after much muss and fuss. In the Long Term Care Home, however, this service isn’t available as far as we know. His retirement home took him by mini-bus to the doctor, who will do this for us. Funding allocations for LTC residences in 2006 include staff funding of 2.5 to 2.6 hours per resident to get them up and ready and into the dining room for meals, washing them, meeting their needs and giving them snacks. It is barely enough and less than other provinces deem minimal.

For each resident in BC, Alberta, Manitoba and Saskatchewan they have a minimum funding per client of 3 hours per day. Recently, pre-election posturing in August, 2006, included a political announcement of 1200 new nurses in the province and funding announcements that will not be in enacted until 2008, and we won’t see a result until 2009. Funding for housekeeping, laundry and other services are running less than inflation. Wages and utilities have increased by 3 % and inflation is increased by 1.6 %. The 3rd floor, for example, with the flight risk residents and Alzheimer’s patients, absolutely needs 3 hours per resident.

While we met the doctor on his intake day, he only visits weekly and they do not have enough time to see each patient during this visit. The government only provides funding for one physician per floor. This will later prove a difficult obstacle. Right now it isn’t too much of an issue. It is the nursing staff that determines his needs, along with our advice, support and guidance.

Brian took dad’s hearing aid to have it cleaned at the store. It is a bit of money, but worth it. Dad’s ear is raw with scratching it. Everyone says that they have never seen such wax build up and so small an ear canal. I wonder if Dad can focus on this problem since he cannot face his other issues: grieving over his wife, dog, old life and old home. Dying is a complex issue.

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