EDMONTON—Family members with loved ones in care in Hinton were joined this morning by Public Interest Alberta Executive Director, Joel French, and Friends of Medicare Executive Director, Sandra Azocar, to call on the provincial government to take action to support Hinton residents in need of long-term care.
The community had long-term care beds built by the Good Samaritan Society with government support in 2002, but the PC government in 2005 downgraded the beds to supportive living, and the community has been without long-term care ever since.
“Community members in Hinton have been fighting for long-term care since the beds were downgraded in 2005,” said Lynda Jonson of the group Seniors I Care Hinton. “These are the people that built this community and they deserve quality long-term care.”
Brendalee Raketti is a Hinton resident whose mother and father were both assessed as needing long-term care. Both were waiting for placement in the hospital in Hinton until they were moved to Whitecourt before they could be placed in continuing care in Hinton.
“Once in care, my parents were sent all the way to Whitecourt, which took a toll on both of them and on our family,” said Raketti. “At one point, I was doing a 5-hour trip to Whitecourt to visit them, three days a week.”
“My husband is a resident of the supportive living facility in Hinton, but he is assessed as needing long-term care. We don’t ever want him to have to move because of a lack of support for proper services. As people in Hinton get older, how will we care for them without separating families?” said Hinton resident Marilyn Carling.
“My wife has been a patient in Hinton for 4 years, she has alzheimers and her health and behavior needs are complex. I believe she would be better served by long-term care in Hinton where we live,” said Jim Chell.
“Stories like these show the need for long-term care in Hinton. It was needed before and it’s needed today. We want to see the long-term care wing of the Good Samaritan Society Mountain View Centre restored until a new public facility can be built,” said Azocar.
“The long-term care crisis in Hinton was created by the previous government, and the current government has an opportunity, with its promise to build new public long long-term care beds, to fix it,” said French. “Hinton needs long-term care now.”
Watch the full press conference here: