Unearthed CEO Tour report reveals major problems in long-term care

Today the NDP responded to serious concerns raised by the CEO Tour report released late Friday afternoon and repeated their call for legislated minimum care standards supported by adequate government funding.

“This report confirms what we’ve heard from seniors and family members: staff give so much of themselves, and their work is appreciated, but they struggle to keep up in an environment of inadequate funding, understaffing, and crumbling infrastructure,” said NDP Seniors critic Danielle Chartier. “It’s no wonder the Sask. Party didn’t want to release this report, because it shows exactly why we need changes to our long-term care system. Changes that treat seniors with the dignity they deserve. That starts with funded and legislated minimum care standards.”

While CEO Tour reports only offer a limited glimpse at the issues affecting Saskatchewan’s long-term care homes, the results are nonetheless damning. Issues identified in the report include:

Rushed or inadequate care

  • “Family feel staffing is a little short especially around suppertime and bath days; Residents are a little hesitant to ask for help because the staff are busy; Catheter bags should be emptied on a regular basis” (Hudson Bay, p. 67).
  • “Residents and families stated bowel and bathroom routines are not consistently implemented” (Kamsack, p. 77).
  • Concerns with nutrition: “Not always enough to eat” (Weyburn, p. 240).
  • “Occupational therapy/physiotherapy services are very scarce” (Cupar, p. 30).

Inadequate staffing

  • Not enough staff to meet resident needs (Biggar, p. 12; Duck Lake, p. 38; Warman, p. 235; Strasbourg, p, 221; Lampman, p. 91; Saskatoon, p. 207, 193, 188; Lanigan, p. 97; Leoville, p. 101; Macklin, p. 111; Rosetown, 177; Prince Albert, p. 146).
  • “Families that visit frequently do not feel that they can go away and trust that the care will be consistent” (Prince Albert, p. 146).
  • “Staffing could be better – two staff to put 34 residents to bed” (Unity, p. 228).

Crumbling facilities

  • “Infrastructure concerns, ongoing issues related to roof leak that has impacted use of the dining/common area. Ongoing for years, very challenging” (Lumsden, 109).
  • “Home is old - asbestos labelling; crowded hallways; mold issues in tub room” (Moose Jaw, p. 127).
  • “Sidewalk and ramp breaking down creating a tripping hazard outside the building” (Meadow Lake, p. 118).
  • “Call system is a continuing concern; Phone system is also beyond repair with constant challenges” (Middle Lake, p. 124).

“It is heartbreaking, but sadly not surprising, to read this report,” said NDP Leader Ryan Meili. “When families face the decision to move a loved one into long-term care, the findings detailed in this report are exactly what they worry about. Staff and administrators are run off their feet in these facilities, doing their best with limited resources. It is simply not right for seniors – the people who built this province – to be neglected and worried about asking for help because the staff are so busy and overwhelmed. We need to take action. We need to do better than this.”