Some seniors at a care home in Assiniboia are speaking out about their quality of life being negatively affected by patients suffering from dementia.
Continuing to push for improved seniors care across Saskatchewan, the NDP brought the issue at the Ross Payant Home to the attention of the SaskParty Wednesday.
Opposition Leader Cam Broten outlined how they were told by residents that recent staffing cuts led to the closure of a special dementia ward at the home. As a result, the patients once segregated from other residents are now free to access the rest of the facility. Complaints are now surfacing that dementia patients wander during all hours of the day and night, often disrupting and sometimes even injuring others.
“I like to be happy but it’s getting tough,” said 85-year-old Mabel Wasalenko. “Coping with the situation is one thing, but happy living in another thing.”
“It’s been a nightmare, a horrible nightmare,” said Kathy Reid, whose 71-year-old husband Don lives at Ross Payant.
She has witnessed women fighting and nurses getting injured. Reid herself said she’s been the victim of violence there while visiting her husband.
Both Reid and Wasalenko agree more staff would definitely help solve the problem.
However, Health Minister Dustin Duncan refutes claims that staff have been cut. Instead, he said there has been a minor reconfiguration.
“There are no layoffs but there are some changes in terms of how those positions are being staffed.”
Numbers collected from the Five Hills Health Region and provided by the government show no real significant changes to staffing levels dating back to 2006-2007.
He explained how the dementia patients who are being cared for at Ross Payant are not described as violent or aggressive where they’d pose a significant danger to those around them. Prior to the changes these individuals were often locked in a secure part of the building where they couldn’t interact with other patients or enjoy all the amenities offered at the facility, Duncan outlined.
“In this facility to this point we’ve really been segregating them and this region thinks there’s a better way to provide care for these individuals.”
Broten said he’s simply listening to what a number of residents at the home are telling him and states that clearly everything is not fine there, leaving him to wonder what the conditions are like at other seniors’ care homes across Saskatchewan.