Seniors seeing 25-per-cent home care service cut in Edmonton

Alberta is reducing the amount of time home care providers spend with some seniors to keep costs of the service on budget. Details of the changes to the $500-million home care program were announced Monday by a government agency in response to a release by the opposition NDP, which said the cuts could endanger some people.

EDMONTON — Alberta is reducing the amount of time home care providers spend with some seniors to keep costs of the service on budget.

Details of the changes to the $500-million home care program were announced Monday by a government agency in response to a release by the opposition NDP, which said the cuts could endanger some people.

Kerry Williamson of Alberta Health Services said the changes, which are designed to make the system more efficient, won’t hurt anyone.

“We are not reducing the level of care for any of our clients. We will be reducing the amount of time spent with them in some instances,” Williamson said.

“For example, administering medication can take as little as two minutes, however, the way we are doing it at the moment, we have 15 minutes set aside for that.”

It wasn’t immediately clear how many seniors would be subject to the changes that were put into effect earlier this month.

Williamson said there has been an increase of about 5,000 home care clients in the past two years.

“In order to provide the service to all of the clients within the budget that we have, then we have to do things a little bit differently.”

NDP Leader Brian Mason said it doesn’t make sense to cut a program that helps seniors in their homes that is already cost effective.

Mason said he has been told that some seniors are now receiving 25 per cent less home care services than they were before.

“Home care is a way of reducing health-care costs by having people leave hospitals and be cared for in their homes. It is not only better for them, it is also a very good way to control costs in the health care system,” he said.

“To cut home care is very counter-productive.”

Edmonton resident Cathy Taylor says her home care provider was already struggling to fit her care into the hour and a half sessions.

Taylor says now it’s cut to an hour and 15 minutes.

Mason called on Health Minister Fred Horne to take immediate action to remedy the cuts.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Alberta’s chief medical officer of health, Dr. Deena Hinshaw, said growing COVID-19 case numbers continue to be a concern in the province. (Chris Schwarz/Government of Alberta)
Alberta announces 1,077 new COVID-19 cases Thursday

There are currently 14,052 active cases in the province

Head coach Jason Chatwood, left, sports one of the Sylvan Lake Gulls’ first on-field hats next to Aqil Samuel, general manager and president of baseball operations, earlier this year.
Sylvan Lake Gulls ticket sales off to flying start

With the inaugural season quickly closing in, the Sylvan Lake Gulls hit… Continue reading

Photo by Chris Schwarz/Government of Alberta)
Alberta’s chief medical health officer publicly criticizes staffer who leaked info

EDMONTON — Alberta’s chief medical officer of health, dealing with rocketing COVID-19… Continue reading

The RCMP major crimes unit is investigating after a person was found dead at a residence on Stewart Street in Red Deer’s Sunnybrook neighbourhood Wednesday afternoon. (Photo by Sean McIntosh/Advocate staff)
Red Deer RCMP investigating suspicious death in Sunnybrook

A ‘deceased adult’ was found by officers

A detail from Canyon Light, an oil painting by Joan Clement, in the Scale exhibit by members of the Red Deer Art Club. It’s showing at the Viewpoint Gallery in the city’s Culture Services Centre. (Contributed image).
Outdoor art gallery and scavenger hunt is on in Red Deer next month

But First Friday receptions and patio concerts are postponed

Players at Canada’s World Junior selection camp in Red Deer last hit the ice Sunday in an intrasquad game. On Tuesday, it was announced that two players had tested positive for COVID-19 and the entire camp has since gone into isolation. (Photo by ROB WALLATOR/Hockey Canada Images)
Canada’s world junior camp to remain on pause for 14 days

Camp halted after two players contracted COVID-19

Alberta chief medical officer of health Dr. Deena Hinshaw leaves after updating media on the Covid-19 situation in Edmonton, Friday, March 20, 2020. Legal experts say there's a fine line between a public health officer's duty to the people they serve and their duty to the politicians who appoint them. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Public health officers walk fine line between public and politicians, scholars say

Public health officers walk fine line between public and politicians, scholars say

Alexandre Bissonnette, who pleaded guilty to a mass shooting at a Quebec City mosque, arrives at the courthouse in Quebec City on February 21, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Mathieu Belanger - POOL
Court strikes down consecutive life sentences; mosque shooter has prison term cut

Court strikes down consecutive life sentences; mosque shooter has prison term cut

A man wearing a protective mask rides his bicycle past a masked mural during the COVID-19 pandemic in Toronto, Thursday, Nov. 12, 2020. Canada's two biggest province have each reported more than 1,400 new COVID-19 infections as Ottawa pledged funds to help Nunavut deal with its soaring caseload. Ontario, which is expected to unveil new projections this afternoon, recorded 1,478 new cases today and 21 more deaths. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
COVID-19 vaccines to roll out for priority groups in early 2021; Atlantic bubble pops

COVID-19 vaccines to roll out for priority groups in early 2021; Atlantic bubble pops

Trump says he’ll leave if Electoral College seats Biden

Trump says he’ll leave if Electoral College seats Biden

This image released by ABC shows Ryan Phillippe in a scene from "Big Sky." premiering on Tuesday. Several Indigenous groups are lambasting ABC's "Big Sky" for a storyline about murdered women in Montana that fails to mention the crisis disproportionately involves Indigenous victims. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-HO, ABC-Sergei Bachlakov, *MANDATORY CREDIT*
Indigenous groups criticize ABC series ‘Big Sky’ for insensitivity to MMIWG

Indigenous groups criticize ABC series ‘Big Sky’ for insensitivity to MMIWG

People wear face masks as they pose next to a Christmas display in Montreal, Sunday, November 22, 2020, as the COVID-19 pandemic continues in Canada and around the world. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes
How to tell family their Christmas gathering is too risky and you’re not going

How to tell family their Christmas gathering is too risky and you’re not going

Kara McKlemurry poses for a photo while writing Thanksgiving notes to family and friends at her home Thursday, Nov. 19, 2020, in Clearwater, Fla. On any normal Thanksgiving Day, McKlemurry and her husband would drive from their home to one of two places: his family's home in another part of Florida or her family's house in Alabama. This year, McKlemurry informed her family there would be no visits because of the pandemic. (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara)
Empty seats, delivered feasts as virus changes Thanksgiving

Empty seats, delivered feasts as virus changes Thanksgiving

Most Read