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David Brazil, Health Critic for the Official Opposition, said personal care home beds are lying empty while seniors who want to go into those homes are having to wait too long for assessments that may now deny them access altogether.
Monday, January 21, 2019

St. John’s, NL (January 18, 2019) – David Brazil, Health Critic for the Official Opposition, said personal care home beds are lying empty while seniors who want to go into those homes are having to wait too long for assessments that may now deny them access altogether.

Under the Ball Liberals’ new way forward, Regional Health Authorities are now obligated to strictly enforce a policy that requires all applicants being assessed to have a physical care need – and sometimes more than one care need – to qualify for admission to a personal care home.   Only those applicants who are deemed to have immediate physical needs for level one or level two care are prioritized for admission to personal care homes.  Mental wellness issues such as depression, loneliness, fear, anxiety and failing memory are being ignored.

As a consequence, many seniors – some 90 or more in age and very vulnerable – are now being denied access under the rules, even though they would have qualified just months ago.  “The Ball government has taken the choice of care away from these seniors,” Brazil said.  Sadly, many of those denied access may end up needing much more expensive long-term care prematurely.

The assessments are taking time and backlogging the system, denying people the care they need while leaving available beds empty.  By leaving spaces unfilled, the government’s new approach is also taking a financial toll on the personal care home sector, an important component of care for seniors in our province.

“The situation is particularly disturbing at the Meadow Creek Retirement Centre, where four beds lie empty while people are waiting for government-ordered assessments,” he said.  “At Meadow Creek alone, 150 people are waiting for access while available beds are going unfilled.  Leaving beds unfilled in personal care homes is almost unheard of in the metro area, where the need is great.”

“The government’s new way forward is hurting seniors and the homes that care for them.  The Liberals need to get their priorities straight and start taking seniors’ needs for care seriously.”

Contacts:
Bradley Russell
Director of Policy and Research
(p) 1.709.729.3668
(c) 1.709.685.3161
BradleyRussell@gov.nl.ca

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