Seniors care is getting worse in Saskatchewan, and it has to stop.
In 2011, the government quietly erased the need to have “sufficient staff” from the regulations for seniors care homes. Now, charts have gone to managers and workers in seniors care homes which say that if the facility is understaffed – which, sadly, has become very common – the things that should be considered “non-essential” include bathing, changing bedding, doing laundry and cooking hot meals for the seniors.
Prior to 2011, the regulations required that each person in care get a minimum of two hours of personal care per day. Two hours per day was not enough -- other provinces require 3.6 or 3.8 hours of care.
But, instead of improving the basic standard of care, this government moved in the wrong direction and scrapped the minimum standard entirely.
Throughout the province, I’ve visited seniors’ homes and care homes, and I’ve listened to seniors and their families. I’ve heard about seniors left to soil themselves because there isn’t anyone to help them to the bathroom. I’ve heard about call buttons ringing unanswered, and seniors being forced to get up at 5:30 a.m. because of short-staffing.
One woman told me that if the time came for her to go into seniors care, she’d rather be hit over the head with a shovel.
Saskatchewan people are doing their part to care for their families, but this government isn’t holding up its end of the deal. The NDP wants to see better staffing levels and better standards of care in seniors care homes and the resources in place to ensure those standards can be met. Our parents, our grandmas and grandpas deserve dignity and so much more than they’re getting today.
NDP Leader Cam Broten