Seniors care stories clash

It would appear Kerry Bales, vice-president of Alberta Health Services, is not even capable of co-ordinating his story with Jay Scull of Extendicare prior to speaking to the press.

Re: Staff shortage “unacceptable,” Red Deer Advocate, Nov. 16

It would appear Kerry Bales, vice-president of Alberta Health Services, is not even capable of co-ordinating his story with Jay Scull of Extendicare prior to speaking to the press.

Bales claims Extendicare “… had the staffing they needed to provide the care.” Scull, on the other had says: “We are working as hard as possible to get the staff we need. We’re working with what we’ve got for now.” It would appear from anecdotal evidence that Scull’s comments are closer to the truth than those of Bales.

I compliment Susan Zielinski on the article she wrote on Nov. 16, and the Advocate for publishing it on page one. I also compliment Colleen McGowan for taking this issue to the press.

I have spoken to individuals whose loved ones have been transferred to Extendicare Red Deer.

They have all expressed horror at the way the move has occurred and the level of care being offered at the new facility. Residents are not being assisted during meals, they are being left to sit for hours, staff frequently do not answer call bells and residents are left sitting in wheel chairs for hours.

Many residents have experienced significant rent increases due to being forced into private rooms when they were previously in semi-privates. Residents were promised no fee increases.

Mary Anne Jablonski, others in her ministry, AHS, Kerry Bales and the government in general continue to say all is well and we just need to be patient.

How many more residents will live in discomfort due to lack of care and attention, before someone does what is required to rectify the situation?

Which organization has the ultimate responsibility for this new facility, Alberta Health Services or Extendicare? Both seems to be passing the buck to the other.

What we do know for sure is that it is residents who have fallen through the cracks and will continue to suffer until this mess is cleaned up.

Michael O’Hanlon

Red Deer