Leader of Official Opposition says new model in terms of seniors’ care needed

Brian Jean speaks to seniors in Red Deer Friday afternoon

  • Apr. 7, 2017 11:31 p.m.

CHANGE - From left

Brian Jean, leader of Alberta’s Official Opposition, met with residents and their family members of a privately-owned seniors’ home in Red Deer on Friday afternoon.

Jean was joined by MLA for Innisfail-Sylvan Lake Don MacIntyre and MLA for Lacombe-Ponoka Ron Orr at Community Care Cottages in Red Deer, a private long-term care residence.

Their message to the NDP government was to look at alternative ways to provide better care for seniors which they believe includes a partnership between the private and public sector.

“There is a program here in the province regarding Home Care. It’s a program that allows seniors to be in a home facility like this (Community Care Cottages). It is an actual home environment,” said MacIntyre. “The cost of care is a fraction of the care in a institutionalized setting and it’s been proven, there is tons of research on this. When you have seniors who have issues and they are in a home environment, where their family can come and see them, where there are caregivers right in the home, they do much better – they are healthier, longer.”

He said another factor with what they believe is wrong with the current system is, “Divorce by nursing home.”

“In this kind of an environment here, we have couples staying here. They have differing need levels, but nevertheless, they are both in this facility. These husbands and wives have been together for 50-60 years and without this kind of environment, they would be split up.

“The issue seems to be that because this is operated as a private entity, it’s not a government-run facility, there are some gatekeepers within the bureaucracy that are impeding families’ ability to access the funding that already exists for this program.”

Jean added there are about one million new seniors a year in the country, so now is the time this needs to be addressed.

“It’s a demographic that’s rising at an alarming rate – somewhere in the neighbourhood of 70,000 (new seniors) in Alberta alone every single year,” he said. “This is a group of individuals that we are going to see a higher and higher demand – not only in health care in particular, but in finding alternatives to having seniors stay in health care facilities and health care beds. The fraction of the cost is as staggering – I have heard figures as startling as $11,000-$15,000 a day in a health care system, a hospital, versus $3,000 a month to be in a facility like this.

“We would encourage the government to set aside their ideological view on this and work with the experts that are on the ground, working with the seniors right across the province and find the best outcome for the seniors.”

Moving forward, Jean said the NDP government needs to be made aware the private sector can be a good partner with the public sector to provide the best quality of care for seniors.

“That is to make sure that when they need health care, when they need a hospital, they are close a proximity to it and they get to a hospital. But they certainly shouldn’t be staying in the hospitals longer than necessary – as you are aware, sick people stay in the hospital and seniors are very susceptible to that. Unless they are particularly ill, they should not be in the hospital,” said Jean, adding a public/private sector partnership would benefit the province. “It is because it creates opportunity for people to be able to have choice in where they want to go, instead of having the state assign them to a particular home and to be ‘divorced by nursing home’. The government is not very good at running facilities such as this and they don’t offer any alternatives which means it costs more money and provides less services.”


Just Posted

Klaus trial continues with cross-examination of undercover officers

The Castor-area triple homicide trial continued on Friday

Red Deer RCMP make high volume of arrests

Numerous suspects arrested in relation to property crime offences

Red Deer RCMP arrest two with multiple stolen IDs

Men had allegedly had stolen information from 15 people

Christmas Wish Breakfast helping those in need

Event takes place in Red Deer on Sunday

Temporary road closure near Riverside Drive

Red Deer road closed for water service

WATCH: Red Deer RCMP give back

United Way of Central Alberta hold inaugural McDonalds United Way Day

Dead boy’s father posts Facebook response after Appeal Court upholds conviction

David, Collet Stephan were found guilty in their son Ezekiel’s 2012 death from bacterial meningitis

Bank of Canada cautious of future rate hikes

The Bank of Canada remains cautious on future rate hikes due to low- inflation risk

London theatre received allegations against Kevin Spacey

The theatre said Thursday the 20 allegations deal with incidents between 1995 and 2013.

Da Vinci’s Christ painting sells for record $450M

The painting, “Salvator Mundi,” Latin for “Savior of the World,” is one a few paintings by Leonardo known to exist

Loblaws closing 22 stores, launching home delivery ahead of ‘difficult year’

“We are excited about our future. But…we expect 2018 will be a difficult year,” said Galen G. Weston, Loblaw CEO.

Walk of Fame bash celebrates David Suzuki, Donovan Bailey, Anna Paquin

Suzuki says he’ll be thinking of his late parents as he accepts the honour

Trudeau to personally unveil Liberals’ peacekeeping plan

This marks Canada’s first tangible step back into peacekeeping

Blake Shelton named Sexiest Man Alive 2017

“I think to describe myself as a child, one word comes to mind. And that’s fat.”

Most Read