Health placement baffles
Alberta Health Services placement transfers cause mental distress and abuse on our seniors. We have taken a proactive approach with Alberta Health Services from a personal family experience with our mother, regarding a proposed placement transfer from Olds Acute Care to Lacombe long-term. This was to take place within 48 hours.
Our mom has lived in Mountain View County all her life. She lived in the Kinsmen Manor for six years, and had her name on the wait list for Didsbury Aspen Lodge for those years with no success of accommodation. With failing health in 2011, she was unable to continue to live at the manor. Family advocates arranged for accommodation at the Mount View Lodge in Olds in February 2012. We now found out that this was crossing the region boundary to come back to Didsbury, but were not informed of that. With excellent care and compassion there, her health improved with family and friends close by to lift her spirits for one and a half years.
On June 28, Mom ended up in Olds Hospital emergency with heart and lung failure and she insisted on staying in acute care until she could recover, even though the doctor on call wanted to send her back to the lodge. Over the next nine weeks in acute care, Mom’s health deteriorated to the point of being deemed long term.
Family members met with Olds Home Care Placement co-ordinator on July 23 to fill out an application for Long Term Supportive Living 4 care. Mom was not in any condition at that time to concentrate to hear what was being proposed. As power of attorney and personal directive authority, we proceeded with the papers, that she could move within 100-km radius within the Central Health Region.
On Aug. 2, we were advised by her doctor that the 100-km radius had been lifted and she would stay in Olds Acute until a long-term bed became available in Olds. We have a letter from Alberta Health Services confirming that mission statement, dated June 18.
We then received a letter from Alberta Health Services that Mom was approved Supportive Living 4 care on Aug. 6 and would have to go to the next available bed within 100-km radius! Does anyone know what the other is doing?
Upon discussing the matter with Continuing Care Placement in Red Deer regarding the rescinded 100-km policy, it was said that they had no direction from the government to change it, so they were following old protocol. I informed both Olds and Red Deer to put it on record that Mom was not to be moved out of Olds without our input and further contact.
On Tuesday, Aug. 20, Olds Home Care Placement informed Mom, before family, that she would be moved to Lacombe on Thursday. Aug. 22, by 10 a.m. by the family! Forty-eight hours notice! Family were then contacted to have her moved out by Aug. 22. In conversation with hospital nurse of Continuing Care, she agreed Mom could go by ambulance and we could follow her there.
This was all very unacceptable, so family decided to take action. Through many phone calls to care managers, minister of Health office, Patient Relations Office, meeting with MLAs, and being loud, we received a phone call from Olds Care manager indicating Mom wouldn’t have to move to Lacombe after all, as the 100-km radius had just been changed to 80 km effective that day! Are you kidding me? When in fact, a letter from Alberta Health Services indicated that had been lifted June 18. At this point, we have nothing in writing on the 80-km radius change. Alberta Health Care mission, as printed on letterhead is:
1. Putting patients first.
2. More than just health care; maintain a quality of life Albertans deserve.
3. Want seniors to age alongside the ones they love. Continuing Care placement must start with supporting seniors close to home, to engage the community in changing conditions.
4. Provide a patient focused, quality health system accessible for all Albertans.
In summation: We have a pyramid system in Alberta Health Services that has developed issues getting the mission statement through to managers at our level.
Albertans, we are in charge of our seniors! Speak out! We do not have to accept what is placed in front of us! Advocate for our seniors! We will all be there one day! Our lives begin and end the day we become silent about the things that matter.