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Elder care in Alberta remains ‘IN A STATE OF CRISIS’
Unmet pledges of new government continuing a troubling trend
Stagnation in the number of long-term care beds, a continued shift
to less-resourced & less regulated “supportive living” spaces, &
higher levels of private for-profit delivery have left residential
elder care in Alberta in a state of crisis, according to a new report
released today by Parkland Institute.
Losing Ground: Alberta’s Elder Care Crisis, which updates a 2013 Parkland
report, found that while long-term care (LTC) beds have increased by just
2.6% since 2010, the number of less-regulated, less-expensive designated
supportive living (DSL) spaces have grown by 92.3%, and now account for
40% of all elder care beds. Over the same period, the province has lost
a total of 333 beds in public facilities, while 3,255 beds in private
for-profit facilities have been added, and now account for 43% of all
“There’s a clear and troubling trend away from regulated, public long-term
care beds in the province at precisely the time when demand is growing quickly
due to a rapidly aging population,” according to report author David Campanella.
“The result is that the LTC availability rate for seniors over 85 has fallen
by almost half since 2001. This drop has greatly reduced the province’s ability
to meet the care needs of its most frail seniors.”
The report also compared the level of care provided in public, private & non-profit
facilities & found that public facilities provide on average an additional
hour of direct care compared to other ownership types. Private facilities provided
below-average levels of care across all categories of nursing staff.
“When it comes to quality of care, the data shows that ownership clearly matters,”
Campanella says. “All ownership types actually fall short of recommended care
standards, but the average public facility offers significantly more hours of care
than other ownership models – nearly two weeks each year of additional hands-on care.
But despite that reality, the province is continuing to move in the wrong direction.
It must be understood that the ND government FROZE LTC FUNDING even PRIOR to bringing
down the Budget.