George Le Masurier photo
Comox Valley seniors group says new beds fall short
Decafnation reported last week that the announcement of new long-term care beds did not please everyone in the Comox Valley. We quoted health care workers still employed by Island Health and Seniors Voices advocated Delores Broten.
This week, Seniors Voices Comox Valley has issued an advisory for caregivers in response to the announcement by Health Minister Adrian Dix.
Dix announced the province awarded Golden Life Management Corporation a contract for 120 new residential care beds and two new hospice beds (for a total of six with the four existing beds). He also gave Providence Residential Care Community Society permanent funding for the 21 temporary beds it currently operates at the former St. Joe’s General Hospital under the name Mountain Views, and 10 new beds, currently funded at another facility, and four respite beds.
Here is Seniors Voices Comox Valley analysis of the announcement.
“Our data (and personal experience) indicates that the Comox Valley needed about 150 beds in 2017 to meet the need at that time. We estimate that about 25 to 30 new beds are needed every year. This means that by the time the “120 new beds”, the Golden Life beds, come on line at the end of 2020, the Valley will require at a minimum another 100 beds. The beds awarded to Providence already exist and are already full.
“The new Comox Valley hospital is bursting at the seams, constantly at over 100 percent capacity, a situation leading to stress and problems for staff and patients. On any given day over one third of the admitted patients in the hospital are deemed to require “Alternative Level of Care,” not an expensive hospital bed. This is not new but has worsened this winter. Many of these people are waiting for residential care. The new beds will not help the hospital over-crowding due to the ever-increasing need.
“The decision to award this contract to a private company is inexplicable to us. The contract could easily have been awarded to Glacierview Lodge, the experienced, qualified and community-supported not-for-profit already operating in the Valley. Minister Dix appeared to be unaware of the raison d’etre of private enterprise, which is to generate a profit to satisfy the interests of shareholders/investors, saying that Golden Life is a “good company.”
“Good company or not, private corporate interests could result in the sale to a “maybe not so good company” (as in the sale of Retirement Concepts to Anbang). As well, wages are lower than in nonprofit facilities, which will lead to on-going staffing issues. We do not agree that private profit should be realized from the public funds the government will provide Golden Life for the care of our seniors.
“For caregivers, the greatest relief in this announcement will come from the addition of four more respite beds at Mountain View (Providence). Too many caregivers lose control of their lives to look after their loved ones. These respite beds will provide caregivers with a week or two of welcome and needed time to look after themselves.
“If you share our concern about the seniors’ care crisis in the Comox Valley, please contact your MLA to request work begin immediately on developing an expanded care plan. After all, based on history, it will take years.”
You can get more information about Senior Voices by contacting Delores Broten at email@example.com
SUBSCRIBE TO OUR NEWSLETTER
The Canadian Museum of Nature has given Father Charles Brandt their 2020 Lifetime Achievement Award. The Oyster River hermit was nominated by the Comox Valley Land Trust.
Nearly seven months after the BC lockdown to prevent the spread of COVID-19, the Comox Valley Economic Task Force has yet to form any plans to help local businesses and the region’s destination marketing office has been “repurposed”
3L Developments Ltd. has returned to the Comox Valley Regional District to ask the Electoral Services Committee to push an RGS amendment on its behalf to the full board. That would clear the way for a new version of Riverwood
The Courtenay-Comox Sewage Commission has taken the first step toward a Comox Valley-wide sewerage system by agreeing to receive and treat wastewater from the fast-growing Royston and Union Bay portions of Electoral Area A.
Delayed by this spring’s COVID-19 virus lockdown, public consultation on the region’s new Liquid Waste Management Plan will begin later this summer
Union Bay Improvement District opens a new water treatment plant, hopes to eliminate future boil-water advisories
A 156-bed Dementia Village for the Comox Valley took another step forward May 25 as Island Health announced a project development agreement with Providence Living for the project.
North Island medical professionals will explain how VIHA’s removal of onsite clinical pathologists’ services in Campbell River — and eventually the Comox Valley? — has affected patient care
Racecar testing will continue at Smit Field next to Nymph Falls Nature Park, at least for another season, after Comox Valley rural directors voted 2-1 in favour of a scaled-down temporary use permit
As the Vancouver Island Health Authority reduces health care services to north islanders and deflects accountability, the public looks to the Comox Strathcona Regional Hospital District board for advocacy