Michener Hill staffing shortage can be fixed

I am writing to respond to David Gutscher’s letter in which he praised Extendicare staff for their hard work. I am glad that he acknowledged them in that way. I think their hard work deserves that recognition. They are doing overtime and coming in on their days off because they care what happens to the residents in their care.

I am writing to respond to David Gutscher’s letter in which he praised Extendicare staff for their hard work.

I am glad that he acknowledged them in that way. I think their hard work deserves that recognition. They are doing overtime and coming in on their days off because they care what happens to the residents in their care.

I also think it is important to note that the news articles to which he refers are in no way critical of the people who work in Extendicare They are concerned with the shortage of staff that results in situations where the working staff cannot do all the work that is required of them and have to make hard choices about what gets done and what is left.

As a recently retired nurse, I know how it feels when you can’t do all you expect of yourself because you do not have the time or the resources. It is very stressful.

These issues are not about people, they are about a system and have many layers of responsibility.

Since our Alberta government has decided to make Red Deer Nursing Home and Valley Park Manor unavailable for long-term care use, Extendicare has a monopoly on the provision of long-term care to any person who requires it in Red Deer. Since it is the “only place in town,” it is imperative that it works for the benefit of our frail and elderly seniors.

When we have incidents as documented in the paper and reported to Extendicare management in family advisory council, they need to be resolved.

Alberta Health Services has qualified, trained and experienced staff that it has just laid off many who are not wanting to leave their employment with Alberta Health Services and lose their seniority, pensions and take the decrease in pay. Surely there are ways to resolve these conflicts in staff availability in order to provide the care our seniors deserve.

One statement made by David Gutscher is very concerning. He said “since opening our doors we have never failed to meet or exceed provincially required staffing levels.” Obviously the provincial standards need immediate review.

Seniors who make it to long-term care require a considerable level of care.

I would encourage anyone who loves a senior, is concerned about seniors or hopes to be a senior themselves some day to write our government asking for a review of required staffing levels.

If we don’t advocate for our frail and elderly, who will?

Brenda Corney

Friends of Medicare

Red Deer Chapter

Red Deer