Concerns with Extendicare grow following outbreak at Extendicare Preston in Saskatoon

SASKATOON - Official Opposition Critic for Seniors Matt Love called the recent COVID-19 outbreak at Extendicare Preston in Saskatoon - which has claimed the lives of at least three residents - both predictable and preventable, and only heightens the concerns about Extendicare’s record in Saskatchewan as the only for-profit long-term care operator in the province.

“This outbreak should have come as no surprise to the Sask. Party government, which has received report after report chronicling unacceptable and dangerous conditions at Extendicare Preston dating back to 2013,” said Love. “This appears to be history repeating itself, and the SHA should immediately intervene and take over management of the facility, as it has at Extendicare Parkside, before it’s too late.”

Love noted that similar conditions to those that contributed to the deadly outbreak at Extendicare Parkside in Regina have also been detailed for years at Extendicare Preston. These concerns include overcrowding (including 4-bed rooms), understaffing, hygiene concerns and infrastructure and HVAC issues. (Please see below for a list of findings from the government’s CEO Tour reports.)

“What we are seeing in long-term care throughout the province, but particularly in regards to the province’s only for-profit operator, has been entirely predictable and preventable,” said Love. “The government must show that it understands that lives are literally in the balance. The time to get serious is now - it is already too late for too many families.”

Love noted that a new Canadian Centre for Policy Analysis (CCPA) report finds that the Sask. Party government has left over $31 million in federal funding for long-term care on the table, in addition to the $260 million unspent in the provincial COVID-19 contingency funds.


“With the staggering loss of life in Saskatchewan this month alone, it just doesn’t make sense to sit on those dollars that could be used for saving lives,” said Love.








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●      “Staffing levels are inadequate”

●      Infrequent baths: “There is a risk of loss of skin integrity and general hygienic concerns”

●      “82 bed facility, 16 beds are in a four bedroom ward, only 20 are single rooms.”

●      Notice staff shortages and often have to wait up to 30 mins after they ring their call bell. Continent residents have soiled themselves because of it.”

●      “Rooms are so small that there is no room for an easy chair, so residents have to sit in their wheelchairs all day.”

●      “Building is not appropriate - frustration with sharing rooms, lack of space is seen as an issue”



●      “Staffing levels are inadequate to meet the needs of residents due to their increased level of acuity”

●      “Some residents moan all day long. Which is disruptive to other residents in the two and four bedroom wards”

●      “Initiate discussions of turning 4 bed rooms into 2 beds rooms”

●      “TBD - Staffing levels are main issue”



●      “The infrastructure of this home is a concern”

●      “they believe their care is being compromised due to low staffing levels”

●      “We will work with Extendicare to repurpose the four-bed rooms to improve experience for residents and family.”



●      “SHR VP of Integrated Health Services and I/CEO met with Extendicare management in March 2016 and the decision was made to NOT repurpose these rooms at this time due to financial constraints.”

●      “Extendicare was built over 50 years ago and the rooms are small and all, except 20, are shared – with every resident sharing a bathroom.”

●      “Extendicare is very interested in repurposing the existing four 4-bed rooms into ‘Urgent Assessment and Care’ beds. Due to financial constraints, this is not feasible at this time.”

●      “As the complexity and needs of residents continues to increase, it is difficult to manage with existing staffing ratios. Recruitment and retention of care staff continues to be challenging.”



●      There are an increasing number of residents requiring multifaceted care. Complexity of care needs continue to rise for individual residents impacting staff ability to respond to effectively to address all residents care needs in the home.

●      An aging workforce has resulted in a decline in physical health and strength to manage the increasing needs of the residents



●      “Building is 1967 construction, so there are many accessibility challenges, no private spaces and congestion.”

●      “Receives a large number of admissions as first available bed (due to number of 2-bed and 4-bed rooms).”

●      “Maintaining casual relief staff is challenging”



●      ”The physical layout of the building, with many of the rooms being four bed-rooms, creates challenges for residents when they are sharing with several people.”

●      Staffing has been an issue for them, especially with short call.

●      “There has been some concern from families regarding the response times to call bells. They are investigating these concerns individually.”



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