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Appeal for Safety to Seniors Minister Yvonne Fritz

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April 24, 2006

Hand Delivered

The Honourable Ms Yvonne Fritz
Minister Seniors and Community Support Services
Alberta Legislature Building
Edmonton, AB

Dear Madame Minister:

SAFETY OF LONG-TERM CARE RESIDENTS

For more than thirty years, there has been failure on the part of government to assure safety to citizens who require long-term care. Having been associated with the care of the frail elderly for many years, we continue to acquire innumerable files containing documented accounts of this ongoing failure.

In recent years, it has become public knowledge that residents in such facilities have suffered, dehydration, starvation, asphyxiation, fatal scalding, rape and other horrific happenings.
We can find no evidence of intent by your government to guarantee safety for these elderly residents or justice for the victims of these unbelievable crimes.

Though we fully recognize that the neglect and mistreatment of the elderly is a global issue, we nevertheless believe that it can and must be remedied in our small part of the world. However, there must be concerted intent and directed effort to accomplish this. Therefore we respectfully request your government to initiate the following:

  1. Cameras (Granny Cams) in every resident’s room and all open areas.
  2. Detailed information of total, past work history recorded on every caregiver’s file.
    • Reason(s) for leaving all previous employment(s), which has been substantiated by sworn, written statements of previous employer(s). Strong penalties for those who might provide misinformation.
    • Criminal record check of all employees
    • Photo I.D. of each employee
  3. Not only must the offender/abuser be held accountable and disciplined for his/her actions, but the care facility and its officers must be held accountable for the care performance within the facility. Therefore every care facility licensee, or any partner officer, director, owner of 5% or more of the assets of the care facility, administrator or managing employee, should be held accountable and penalized for both intentional, reckless or negligent behavior committed by service provider personnel within its premises.
  4. Annual, published reports, listing all abusing licensees by name and address, indicating:
    • The number of offences and the nature of each charge issued to each licensee during the previous twelve month period and the status of any action taken (if any) pursuant to each violation, including penalties assessed, and media Guzman
    • The number of actions, nature, status and action taken with respect to each uncorrected violation for which there is an outstanding charge.
    • All reports shall be available to the public.
    • The names of duly authorized officers, employees or agents, contracted persons of the Protection For Persons in Care Act and the Health Facilities Review Committee and other relevant boards and agencies shall also be deemed public.
  5. Penalties such as fines, suspensions of licenses, jail terms must be clearly stated and applied.
  6. Alberta wide Registry to list those who abuse, neglect and prey on the frail elderly.

Safety and security of person should be the right of every Alberta citizen.

We respectfully ask your attention to this urgent matter. We would be grateful to be in receipt of your reply by May 15, 2006.

Thank you.

Elder Advocates Of Alberta

Reply:

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