Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Home Care

In-home care is an important way to manage ill-health in the privacy and comfort of your home. What is shameful is that we do not have enough workers in the field.
The news is not usually good, about senior care. The bad news gets press. Accidentally allowing a dementia patient to be left outdoors. "Human error blamed for senior's death".

These are preventable deaths, which profoundly affect a family, senior's LTC home, community. It is very difficult to find Home Care, as well as institutional care, which may be necessary.

Home Care is delivered by for-profit or non-profit, many are Transfer Payment Agencies. All must pay fair wages to staff to retain them. There is some controversy around private agencies bidding for contracts on delivery of services to provide home care. CCAC, and other big health care providers, often puts out Requests For Proposals (RFPs). Agencies such as VON, or Red Cross can apply.

The controversy is raising its head in the legislature. The Sudbury Star's Carol Mulligan wrote: Acccent: Bidding for care, Cause for concern -- or rhetoric?
I wonder. France Gelinas, NDP MPP, has been riding the Health Minister. Concern around the competitive bidding process is well-founded. PSW workers may make anywhere from $13 - 22. There may be shift premiums, stat holiday pay, overtime, vacation pay, in lieu of pay, etc.
Their agencies, just like any other TPA, charges clients more than this. The PSWs may or may not get travel time, or mileage, which grossly takes away from their working hours and take home pay.

I cannot imagine that we are better off with competitive bidding. I think one of the most pressing issues for seniors, and anyone else getting Home Care, is continuity of services. Changing agencies from year to year is time consuming and disruptive to both care receivers, and care recipients, not to mention the paperwork involved for the agencies.

We need well-trained, able, supervised PSWs, registered at a central location to ensure that we have quality caregivers. TO SIGN A PETITION PLEASE GO TO:

http://www.gopetition.com/petitions/nursing-homes.html

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