Long term care residents can now create self-governing councils to have more say in their quality of care.
A new bill passed by the Government of Alberta has made it mandatory for all long-term care facilities to let their residents know that they can establish self-governing councils. In Lloydminster, there are two facilities on the Alberta side that would have to follow this new law, including Dr. Cooke Extended Care and Lloydminster Continuing Care Centre.
Executive Director of Continuing Care for Saskatchewan Health Authority (SHA) Neal Sylvestre says that there is an equivalent of this law in Saskatchewan. In 2016, the Ministry of Health made it a requirement to have a framework for resident and family councils, however unlike Alberta it is not a legislated need.
“Every quarter we have a resident and family council meeting. We have a set agenda where we talk about a number of issues that reflect the quality and the comfort of the care that residents receive in long term care. For example, we talk about dietary, the quality of the food that residents are getting.”
Currently, the City has three facilities that have these councils set up that includes the two on the Alberta side, where it is now mandatory and the Jubilee Home. Sylvestre says that they have been doing these meetings for a number of years and it is has helped with transparency and accountability of the care residents are receiving.
“Often times we don’t see things the way that they see them through their lens as an occupant of the facility or as a family member that’s coming to visit.”
Last year, SHA did their first Resident and Family Experience Survey to find out how satisfied residents are in nursing homes as one way to improve quality of care. Sylvestre says that they plan to do the survey again this year.
The new legislation came into effect on April 1.