Wandering senior further proves unsafe staffing levels: NDP

Chartier to Duncan: how many seniors’ lives will be risked before you act?

News of another dangerous incident as a result of unsafe staffing levels has come out of a Moose Jaw seniors care home. The government again failed to take action to improve dangerously low staffing levels, even after the disturbing death of a resident in the same facility just three weeks ago.

Staff at Providence Place reached out to local media Thursday after a senior with dementia went missing Wednesday. The Moose Jaw Police Service was called, and officers located the wandering resident crossing a busy intersection.

The incident took place just weeks after another man with dementia, also left unsupervised at Providence Place, ate laundry detergent pods and died.

“How many seniors’ lives will be risked or lost while this government denies it has a seniors care crisis?” NDP Health critic Danielle Chartier asked. “Seniors at Providence Place, and at care homes throughout the province, are not getting the care and supervision they need to be safe.

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Government ignored safety warning before senior’s death

New information from Providence Place’s union revealed Wednesday the government was warned of dangerous conditions two months before a resident’s tragic death in a Moose Jaw seniors care home.

“The Sask. Party government chose to ignore a crystal clear warning that the staffing levels at Providence Place were putting the safety of vulnerable seniors at risk,” said NDP Health critic Danielle Chartier. “A man died, and other seniors are being put at risk by low staffing levels. They need and deserve for this government to stop brushing the seniors care crisis under the rug.”

Every member of the board at Providence Place as well as the CEO of the care home, an affiliate of the government’s health region, each received a letter from SEIU-West in January 2015. The letter warned that staffing levels were “unsafe” and presented a hazard to the seniors living there.

Just two months later a resident with dementia wandered unsupervised into another resident’s room, ate laundry detergent pods he found there, and died.

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Millions in cancer treatment money being spent on Lean warehouses

The Sask. Party government is spending millions to lease two empty warehouse spaces as part of the John Black-style Lean program.

The money – paying for one $512,616 annual lease on a warehouse since 2012 and another $161,201 annual warehouse lease since 2013 – is being taken out of the Saskatchewan Cancer Agency (SCA).

“This is a disgusting waste,” said NDP Leader Cam Broten. “This money should be used to treat cancer patients and deliver better health care throughout the province. Instead, it’s more of the wasteful spending this government is shoveling into the John Black-style Lean program.

“The Sask. Party government claims it can’t afford to improve health care, but everywhere we look we find this government blowing more and more money on misplaced priorities while it ignores the real needs on the front lines of hospitals and seniors care homes throughout the province.”

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Budget is not family friendly

It’s a $14 billion budget – but everyday families won’t get a piece of it

The provincial budget shows the government can afford to fix seniors care, build a better education system and make life more affordable for middle class families – but they aren’t going to.

“Revenues are projected to be higher than last year, but this government won’t pass that benefit on to everyday families,” said Trent Wotherspoon, Deputy Leader of the Opposition. “They’ll keep blowing through the cash as fast as it comes in, and even ask families to pay a bit more and get a bit less in order to support the government’s spending habit.”

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Opposition wants budget to re-route spending to priority areas

Wednesday’s provincial budget must eliminate spending on wasteful pet projects and move the dollars directly into what matters most to Saskatchewan families, says Cam Broten, Leader of the Opposition New Democrats.

“After a decade of resource wealth, parents want to know why their schools are run down and have leaky roofs, but nothing’s being done about it,” said Broten. “Patients want to know why waits in emergency rooms are out of control, and why hallway medicine and long delays have become the status quo. Families want to know why seniors care homes are short-staffed with caregivers consistently run off their feet and struggling to provide even basic care.

“We can afford to do so much better, but not if the Sask. Party government keeps blowing our resource wealth on its misplaced priorities and wasteful pet projects. This government should use the dip in oil prices to cut its own waste and finally start spending wisely on what really matters to Saskatchewan families today.”

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