Does somebody have to die before Alberta’s Health Minister helps?
SOS – Save Our Sister – A Call to Action
My sister, Rebecca, was evicted from her long-term care home of five years back in February 2015. This was done after publicly raising serious care concerns (two hospitalizations where she could have died). She was dumped at a nearby Hospital ER and family informed after the fact. Simultaneously, my other sister, Julie, was banned and then later sued by the facility to silence her. 1.
Health officials did little. Instead, we were told we would have to appeal a return – and wait till an appeals policy was created.2 So R. waited 7 months in an acute care bed till one was developed. The same day as the policy was delivered to us, the Hospital suddenly told us that R’s care status had been downgraded to a lower Supportive Living 4 level from a higher LTC one. Family input, previous health history and important facts were ignored in the move. And the tactic very neatly blocked a return to Good Sam…
Presently, Rebecca is a complex care patient, with 13 medical conditions and over 20 medications. Her respiratory issues are especially key and life threatening. Frequent checks are needed to prevent confusion, falls and comas. In past, there have been at least two very serious health crisis related to care issues in 2014, with over 20 hospitalizations.
In fact, in her current acute care stay at Hospital, she has destabilized several times and has had at least 8-9 falls! She is assessed as a high falls risk. The hospital has repeatedly refused to provide a written explanation for the care downgrade (LTC to SL4), despite the legal requirement to do so. And AHS has yet to provide an explanation either…
Now, the hospital plans to evict R to an unsuitable SL4 facility, geared to more independent residents.3 AHS and Alberta Health have turned a deaf ear and blind eye to the situation. In fact, it was only until the intervention of MLA’s and health advocates like Friends of Medicare and a member of Public Interest Alberta’s Seniors Task Force that even basic risk mitigation measures were taken (like ensuring training of staff and organizing equipment/supplies was done beforehand). And the senior Hospital staff told us point blank that she did not care and that she will be using the Hospital Act, section 31 to remove R, regardless of any appeals.
We are basically being told LTC needs can be met in a SL4 site – which is simply not true. And why the sudden rush? People await housing placement for years. Well, the hospital says R. no longer needs acute care services. Well she never did and was admitted in stable condition. And had the still unexplained status shift not been imposed, R. would have been able to appeal her retaliatory eviction back in August and returned to an appropriate LTC site five months ago.
Many things seem manipulated about the situation, most notably the assessment process that barred family input and ignored previous health history and the inaccurate info on the housing form used to match residents to site. But even the transfer process limited housing choice to one site – with Grey Nuns using high pressure tactics to try to force acceptance. According to hospital records obtained at great effort, Grey Nuns even explored taking over Public Guardianship of R, despite a supportive family, in order to “facilitate transfer”!
We need people to ask Alberta Health, AHS and Covenant Health to reverse the improper status shift and halt the move to an unsafe facility. This will allow R to finally appeal her wrongful eviction that she has waited almost a year to do. It’s all about safety, fairness and accountability. Rebecca has a right to be safe and to return home. And health officials need to do their jobs of keeping people safe in continuing care.
|So how can you help? Please pass Rebecca’s story on to others. Then email or call the health officials listed below …and maybe even call or visit your MLA.|
I ask that you as the health officials involved in overseeing, monitoring and working with continuing care residents to intervene to 1) reverse the care status downgrade of Rebecca Ali and 2) stop her imminent eviction from Hospital. It is unsafe and unfair to penalize and to place at risk, a vulnerable patient for the sake of bureaucratic expedience. Rebecca deserves better; Albertans deserve better.
Phone: 780-342-2000 Toll free: 1-888-342-2471
Find your MLA
- The Good Samaritan Millwoods – background and care concerns
http://edmontonjournal.com/news/local-news/health-watchdog-ranks-alberta-long-term-care-centres = Good Sam rated worst in province
http://edmontonjournal.com/opinion/letters/letters-experienced-staff-crucial-to-long-term-care = Another family’s issues with Good Sam
- New AHS Appeals Policy (an appendix is also being drafted)
- For example, the proposed SL4 site has never cared for a Bipap patient before, let alone a complex care one, there is no registered nurse working the floor, there is only 1 trained nursing staffer for 150 residents at night (an LPN), there is only 1 AHS respiratory therapist for ALL Supportive Living sites and group homes so good luck trying to access Respiratory services, and there is no front desk supervision at night or weekends to monitor if she wanders.
[Refer also to:
2015 09 25: Defamation and SLAPP lawsuits: Ultimate bullies? Is the Good Samaritan banishing & suing Julie Ali to punish & silence her for caring for her sister? Judge dismisses “SLAPP” lawsuit seeking to end opposition to fracking near Mars Area schools ]