An open letter to Mary Anne Jablonski, MLA Red Deer North and minister for Seniors and Community Supports, and Cal Dallas, MLA Red Deer South:
We have seen newspaper articles and letters to the editor by Alberta ministers on “Continuing Care” in Central Alberta; in them we have seen many promises but no factual information.
Last week, Red Deer residents received a pamphlet promising “More beds more choices for Central Alberta seniors.” The advertisement by Alberta Health Services promotes the Extendicare Michener Hill Continuing Care Facility. It uses the term “continuing care,” but it does not explain the difference between long-term care beds and other levels of care to be provided in that facility, such as designated assisted living and others.
We have received inquiries from people who have followed instructions on the back page of the advertisement. They called Alberta Health Services Seniors’ Care office at 403-314-6093 as directed, but they were not able to get information on the various “definitions of care” and the care included in the rates and charges for these various levels. Without this information your term “more choices for Central Alberta seniors” is meaningless.
We at Central Alberta Council on Aging have a long history asking questions about this issue. Our board met with Kerry Bales, vice-president Central Zone Alberta Health Services in February 2010; and we have asked you, our MLAs, at various meetings for the same information. We have not received a satisfactory reply to date.
We noticed that you toured the facility last month and that you met with the Extendicare executive director. We request your assistance in providing Central Alberta seniors with clear, easy-to-understand dollars-and-cents information on what the Alberta government has negotiated with Extendicare on their behalf.
We also repeat our request for a meeting and tour with the operator Extendicare. Please reply at your earliest opportunity.
Central Alberta Council on Aging