Thursday, August 10, 2017

Bracebridge resident outraged about local health care

This is an open letter, which caught my attention. There is a shortage of homecare personal support workers (PSW), as well as homecare nurses.

If you don't have a friend or family member in the hospital at the moment,  you may know nothing of the two shocking health care crises we are experiencing.
Crisis 1Are you aware that our elderly and infirm citizens can no longer move directly from the hospital to the nursing home?  Nursing home beds are in such desperately short supply that this simply cannot occur.  No matter their condition, patients must be discharged back into the community, supported by PSWs and Homecare workers.  Their conditions are prioritized on a Crisis List and they wait their turn to get into a long term care bed.  This is a lengthy process putting both the unwell person and their family at dangerous and unnecessary risk.
We have The Pines, an outstanding long term care facility right here in Bracebridge, and of course that's where our elders should be if they wish.  Seems simple doesn't it?  Well sadly it's not nearly as simple as it seems - in fact it's outrageous!  We probably need to double, maybe triple the current number of long term care beds here in Bracebridge to accommodate the years-long waiting list of those in need.
Crisis 2 - Our StoryMy very elderly father has been in the Bracebridge hospital since May 14 when a fall left him with an irreparable broken femur and dementia that has rapidly increased as a result.
Partway through his hospital stay he was very nearly discharged before he was medically stable in order to free up acute care beds.  These too are in short supply.  Fortunately, with advocacy, he was allowed to remain until his treatment was completed.
Now, wait for it .....by the time my dad was actually ready for discharge the pool of PSWs and Homecare Workers had completely dried up and from what I understand this is a widespread situation.  Without care workers the hospital cannot discharge patients back into the community.  As a result, my dad and others in his situation are plugging up the hospital's acute care beds and putting extra pressure on our already "cut-into-the-bone" nursing staff.  It's up to friends and family members, if there are any available, to spend time with these poor hostages of the system to make sure their needs for companionship, fresh air, stimulation and distraction are met to get them through the long tedious days.
This is simply not acceptable!  We must take immediate action!  If your family or anyone you know is embroiled in this chaos please, please speak out.  Write, call or email our MPP, Norm Miller.  Tell him your story.  Give him the voice of his constituents so he can stand up and speak to our broken and disgraceful health care situation.  We've been quiet way too long!
With sincere thanks,Linda MosesBracebridge

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