Blog | November 29, 2013

Jeff Peters, Lloydminster Meridian BoosterThe Friends of Medicare, Public Interest Alberta, and the Parkland Institute continued their cross province tour to bring to light the issues within Alberta’s long-term care and assisted living facilities, presenting their findings at the Legacy Centre this Wednesday.The tour was initiated by the release of the Parkland’s institute ominously named ‘from bad to worse residential elder care in Alberta’ which outlines many disturbing trends in the province’s long term care strategy.“It comes down to investing in enough trained and qualified staff and being able to build enough physical spaces for those people who need facility care,” said Bill Moore-Kilgannon, executive director of Public Interest Alberta.As well the institute’s research study illustrates the lack of transparency within the current system and brings to light many heart-wrenching stories of the real people on the front lines of this issue: the patients and the care workers.“The reality of living and dying, depending on what your care needs are and your family situation is you are going to need some level of facility care. What the government is doing is going around saying they are going to create choice and that is a lie.”Moore-Kilgannon, says that those in need of individualized long-term care often find themselves between a rock and a hard place, either waiting long queues within the public sphere or facing huge prices for care in private care facilities.“Our main thing right off the top is people want to stay in their homes as long as possible. So you need to invest more in home care so that helps seniors stay at home and frankly it saves the tax payer money and it’s what the seniors want.”The 10-city tour began a few weeks ago and is scheduled for a stop in Camrose, and finally Edmonton, where they will continue to spread information to concerned seniors and those who support them. The issue of elder care in Alberta is certainly a political battle with the tour group asking those that are fed up with the current system to contact their local MLAs as well to petition the PC party to answer questions brought on by the Parkland report.“Interestingly enough we connect with all the opposition parties and frankly a lot of back benchers within the PC party as well who are hearing from their constituents and they know the direction of the government is wrong but they are silenced.”Public Interest Alberta, and the Friends of Medicare have put forth five political demands to the Alberta government.-Create viable and responsive public home care-Strengthen the Nursing Home Act.-Establish a Seniors Advocate as an Officer of Legislature-Make seniors care facilities more democratic-Build more long-term care facilitiesThe group’s last demand hits home for Lloydminster with the Dr. Cook extended care facility, which is scheduled to lose nearly 60 beds within the next few years.“We have a facility here, we are going to fight for it and if it takes standing in front of the bulldozer then I’m going to be there,” said Moore-Kilgannon.Read the article at the Lloydminster Meridian Booster