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Guardianship order disregards senior’s end of life planning

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June 24, 2005

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

Dear Madame Minister:

RE: ****, 99 years of age – 3rd Lynwood Nursing Home 87408 165 Street, Edmonton, AB. T5R 2R8

In October 1999, **** made arrangements through her professional lawyer, George Illsley, that the daughter #### be appointed Enduring Power of Attorney and also prepared four appropriate holograph wills. Her wishes were that she be cared for at home until her death cared for by ####. The home and a shop were put in joint custody with the daughter ####.

In 1997, there was an strong attempt by a son and daughter in law to place her in long term care.

In April 2000, she was walked into Respite care at the Lynnwood Nursing Home in order that her home could be renovated to support her at the end of life.

Through court intervention of other members of the family, she was not allowed to return home and continues to reside at the Lynwood Nursing Home.

Nursing Home Policy and Procedure do not allow for adequate care in a nursing home

  1. Chemical restraints, (overmedication) to keep elderly quiet, compliant, manageable, cheaper to house which may result in confusion, falls, injuries and even death
  2. Failure to assist persons to the toilet or change disposable briefs– in a number of facilities it is policy ; “Use your (18 hour) diaper” – even after a laxative- which causes incontinence and results in residents sitting in urine and feces, increased falls and agitation, mental destabilization, indignity and skin breakdown – cheaper to care for. This is a horror in far too many long term care facilities.
  3. Failure to feed or assist to feed those who are unable to feed themselves, which results in starvation and dehydration. **** has to be fed.
  4. Under staffing – failure to have adequate staffing levels – which results in warehousing of individuals.
  5. Failure to provide simple exercising (walking, limb rotation), provide physiotherapy, splints for muscle contractures due to strokes or inactivity.

**** has had a daily 16 hour supplemental caregiver, paid for by ####, so that she would be toileted and adequately fed and hydrated. We have been told that the family loan of over $200,000. has now been largely expended for such care

We are asking for a Ministerial Order that **** be returned to her home, off the public tax payers purse and allowed to die in her own home as she had wished and carefully planned to do.

Elder Advocates Of Alberta

CC:

Honourable Ms. Iris Evans, Minister of Health and Wellness
Dr. Kevin Taft, MLA, Leader of the Official Opposition.
Mr. Brian Mason, Leader of the Alberta New Democrat Party
The Honourable Ron Stevens, Minister of Justice and Attorney General

Response

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