Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Dementia symptoms on the rise

Of course these days 'dementia', which is a symptom, seems to be characterized as a disease.
Dementia is a build up of plaque in the blood vessels feeding the brain. It is a symptom of Alzheimer's Disease, but it is a symptom of many other cardiovascular diseases.
CBC reports it is on the rise, and long-term care providers, primarily US-based conglomerates in the McLTC delivery of services are taking our tax dollars and claiming poverty.
Residents are served 'retherm' food. That is, food prepared elsewhere, shipped into the LTC and reheated.
They claim not enough staffing, since they are unwilling or unable to increase staffing. Another issue is finding enough staff. Being a Personal Support Worker, with a certificate, is not a prerequisite in working for many of these for-profits. Sending dividends to shareholders is criminal, in this respect.

Lawrence Grant, the executive director of the Glebe Centre, said hiring more staff would help, provided they have the right training. Here lies the rub. Every local newspaper is advertising for these employees. Newspaper stories abound of for-profit businesses seeking PSW-type workers. Some advocate and bring in workers. Very common in an employer hiring a caregiver from, for example, the Philippines.

FAQ Hire Caregiver HRSDC nanny salary agency fees elderly care ...

A: The majority of our caregivers originate from the Philippines and Southeast Asia. 

What is scary about these private agencies, is we have no idea the quality of staff, and the employer (the hiring family) is free to abuse the services of this person living in their home, far from family and friends.

The Glebe Centre is a non-profit, run by a Board of Directors. But they are in the minority. Most centres in Ontario are for-profit. You are wise to shop around. Policies and procedures very, according to the centre. All centres must fulfill legislation in Ontario. There are processes for making complaints. Some are afraid to complain. Others, in one LTC I heard that 90% of residents had Power of Attorney, and busy or distant family members do not know what goes on.

Long-term care homes legislation : Lessons from Ontario

Consider the new Long-term Care Homes Act that the Ontario Legislature enacted ... In Ontario alone there are over 75000 nursing home beds, and more than 75% are filled by women... The nature of dementia dictates the care needs of many LTC home residents.

LTC Bill of Rights

In doing research for my book, I found the Ontario Bill of Rights for those living in Long-Term Care (LTC). 
Find out more about :

Senior's publications by Community Legal Education Ontario (CLEO):
Graphic link to Elder Abuse: The Hidden Crime
Elder Abuse: The Hidden Crime
 (PDF 409KB)
October 2008

This booklet describes the different types of elder abuse, the signs and symptoms of elder abuse, why it happens and why it is seldom reported. It also includes information on how to get help and support, and lists resources available in communities across Ontario.

Graphic link to Every Resident - Bill of Rights for peopel who live in Ontario long-term care homesEvery Resident — Bill of Rights for people who live in Ontario long-term care homes (PDF 1642KB)
September 2008

An explanation of each right in the Bill of Rights for residents of nursing homes, and municipal and charitable homes for the aged in Ontario. It lists places to turn to for help, including the Advocacy Centre for the Elderly (ACE), and the service area offices of the Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care.

Dementia on the rise at long-term care homes
Lawrence Grant said long-term care facilities need better staffing and better training for staff to meet the demands of residents with cognitive disorders. 

According to 2010 report by the Ontario Health Quality Council, about 70 per cent of residents in long-term care suffer from dementia, and in some facilities in Ottawa, over 80 per cent of the residents having some form of cognitive disorder, creating unique challenges for staff.

Community Care Access Centre (CCAC) 
The only way to get into a LTC is to go through CCAC. You will be required to fill in paperwork, and apply for three specific residences.

There are 14 CCAC organizations across the province, governed by a Board of Directors and a LHIN, which manage local care. These are funded and legislated by the Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care and basically provide connections to home care, long-term care destinations, and other services in the community. 


Lisa Banasiak said...

Ms. Jilks,

I first read your blog comment on Dr.Zur's blog about assisted suicide and then found your website. I found it incredible! I too, am a middle age woman who took care of my mother and made the decision not to continue with her dialysis because of a stroke that left her in a vegatation state. I am left with an aging father of 84 years old. I have to say that I was a deputy coroner for 7 years investigating all kinds of deaths and death did not hit me until I saw my own Mother waste away! I am currently a second year Master's student in Licensed Professional Clinical Counseling and when finished I would love to sit and talk to you one day!

Lisa Banasiak

P.S. I am ordering your book today!

Jenn Jilks said...

Lisa, you are very kind. I have learned much through caregiving. I only hope to share something with my fellow human beings.

agemattersclinic said...
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