Twenty-eight continuing care spaces for seniors will open up in Central Alberta in six months as part of the province’s plan to move 700 seniors out of overcrowded hospitals.
Within Central Alberta, 12 spaces will be located in Drumheller, and four spaces each in Lacombe, Ponoka, Stettler and Wetaskiwin. No other details were available from AHS.
Brenda Corney, Friends of Medicare Red Deer chapter chair, said it’s not continuing-care beds that are needed — it’s long-term care beds, which provide a higher level of care.
“It’s not continuing-care patients who are in our hospital beds. The people in our hospital beds are people waiting for someone to die in a long-term care facility in order to get a bed,” Corney said on Wednesday.
The Central Alberta spaces are among the 464 continuing care spaces or beds that will be created by redirecting existing resources.
On Tuesday, the provincial government also promised to spend $60 million on new continuing care or long-term care beds for the rest of the 700 seniors to free up acute care and emergency beds in hospitals.
“Red Deer is really short of long-term care beds,” Corney said.
But adequate staffing is important and hasn’t been happening according to last week’s auditor general’s report into long-term care, she said.
“They can build whatever they want, they can announce whatever beds they want, but until the people in the beds now are receiving adequate care, with adequate staffing, then it’s not good enough.”
Facilities need more “boots on the ground,” she said.