Family calling for changes in Sask. long-term care homes
A Saskatchewan woman is calling for better measures to protect seniors in long term care homes due to the findings of an investigation into the death of her mother in a Saskatchewan care home.
Three years ago, Rose Botting’s mother, Frances Sander, was found bleeding and unresponsive on the floor of a Rosetown nursing home.
“The public needs to know that seniors may not be safe in their nursing home. We also want to put the government and the Saskatchewan Health Authority’s feet to the fire to make sure that seniors are safe,” Botting said.
A report from Ombudsman Saskatchewan following an investigation into the incident highlighted the need for more staff and legislated standards in long term-care.
The Ombudsman found that the Saskatchewan Health Authority (SHA) operated negligently. According to the report, when Sander was admitted to the care home, she was assessed as high risk of falling. Despite the assessment, a plan was not implemented to prevent falls.
“Incidents are going to happen. Seniors are going to fall. It happens all the time but they need to be investigated to make sure that proper preventative measures are in place,” said Botting.
In the report, the Ombudsman stated that the Ministry of Health’s Program Guidelines for Special Care Homes establishes a minimum standard of care for residents in Saskatchewan’s long-term care facilities.
As a result of the investigation, it provided the following recommendations: The Saskatchewan Health Authority develop and implement a single, comprehensive adverse health event reporting and investigation process that identifies the notification, reporting and investigation requirements, and processes for all special-care homes and other facilities operated by the Authority; and ensure that anyone assigned to investigate an adverse health event, including critical incidents is independent and appropriately trained to carry out investigations professionally and in a timely manner.
The minister of seniors, Everett Hindley said that improvements will be made with the launch of a new long-term care home inspection process.
“This is going to be piloted and launched in a number of communities here fairly shortly and that would be the latest step to that we’ve taken to improving the inspection process,” he said.
Official opposition critic for seniors, Matt Love, said that steps need to be taken for more to be done.
“Recommendations made by Ombudsman have not been adopted by this government. In particular, a recommendation was made [in] 2013 to inspect and publicly report on the conditions on all long-term care facilities. This is one that the minister himself says they continue to work on. That was six years ago,” he said.
Botting said she hopes to see concrete changes made to long-term care so others don’t have to lose a family member this way.