Tuesday, December 27, 2011

The prescription for long-term care (WindsorStar)

Seriously, one writer purports to have the answer?

This is the kid of fearmongering and bad press that keeps misinforming the public and creating the notion that our system is 'broken'. Most facilities are for-profit, 500/600 or so, at one point in my research, but many are doing a wonderful job. The media tarnish the image of those who work hard in such facilities. Individual citizens who disparage staff and facilities demean the people in many institutions that are working hard to improve standards, delivering services in a safe and timely manner.

This is what she wrote:
  The prescription for long-term care  (WindsorStar)
 What exactly has to happen in our Long Term Care facilities for change to happen? The Toronto Star has reported cases of horrendous abuse and people are rightfully upset, but our Health Minister Deb Matthews acts surprised. How long have health care workers in these nursing homes been reporting the deplorable working conditions that directly affect the vulnerable seniors they try to care for? Who has bred the environment? Is it a wonder these reports are coming to light?
 Read more 

The solution is to work one home at a time. Health Ministers come and go. They create policy to please constituents, but make little impact. The reason, I feel, is that individuals within the system interpret the policies wrong. Individual staff members are always going to include those who abuse their power, and it is the individuals we must target. Institutions are there for-profit, but if we do not report individual situations, nothing will be improved. Canadians have to stop being so nice.
How many complain in blogs or in the comments sections, make horrible claims, and target health ministers when they should target a staff member, a policy maker at the institutional level, or managers.

'The Toronto Star, in its investigation, found that residents in most for-profit nursing homes are limited to one diaper per shift'

 Firstly, there is little data to support this claim. Definitely, there are some report of such incidents, but they are hardly the norm. There are pockets of poorly trained PSWs, working in poorly run facilities. It is up to us to ensure that proper protocols are followed, whether we be staff, residents or family members.
Secondly, we do not call them diapers. Preferable is adult incontinence products. That is insulting to those in long-term care. Oh, yes. with the disappearance of group care, long-term care (LTC) houses those who require less nursing than a hospital.
Thirdly, family members and staff need to be reporting these incidents to either the authoritative body, or to the OPSWA.

Complaints about retirement homes

The Ontario Retirement Communities Association (ORCA) operates a toll-free Retirement Home Complaints Response and Information Service that provides seniors and their families the information they need to make informed choices and help resolve problems quickly and effectively.

This Service helps consumers address questions or concerns about any retirement residence in Ontario, including those that are not ORCA members*. This free service is funded by the Province of Ontario.

Call 1·800·361·7254 to reach an experienced Information Officer.
Important Notice
Reporting requirements under the Retirement Homes Act, 2010 (the “Act”) came into force on May 17, 2011. Under the Act, there is an obligation to make a report to the Registrar of the Retirement Homes Regulatory Authority (the “RHRA”) if you suspect any harm or risk of harm to a resident resulting from improper care, abuse or neglect, or unlawful conduct. There is also an obligation to report suspicions of misuse or misappropriation of a resident’s money. Residents may make a report, but the Act does not require them to.
To make a report, call the CRIS line at 1-800-361-7254

Complaints about LTC

You can report specific incidents at the MOH & LTC website. See making a complaint.
That said, you can make a complaint about an individual nurse on duty, or a physician. The Dr. only in the LTC home once per week. The nurses busy doling out meds. When I complained about one of my late father's physicians, I was quite pleased with the intervention on the part of the College of Physicians. They came into the LTC home, spoke to the Dr., gave him some advice, spoke to nursing staff, and similarly checked them out.


highparkgirl said...

The problem is that many relatives do not visit their loved ones in the LTC facility, so they cannot help, they want officials to take care of any problems that may arise. They relatives can't be bothered.

Jennifer A. Jilks said...

I so totally disagree! Many are busy in the sandwich generation: jobs, kids, responsibilities.
Many do not know what to do.
Many are afraid and cannot face seeing their loved ones there.
There are others, where I volunteer, who are there every Thursday when I visit.

I burned out visiting my dad daily. With dementia he was confused, and angry, agitated and irritable and irritating.