A Saskatoon woman is drawing attention to poor conditions her father had to live through at a long-term care home, in hopes the government will increase funding to improve care.
Brenda Cromwell, who was invited to the legislature Tuesday by the opposition NDP, said her father John Gruell was diagnosed with dementia at age 87 and placed in the Luther Special Care Home in Saskatoon.
She said the facility was in bad shape, without air conditioning in the summer and the family had to scrape ice off the windows in the winter.
Cromwell also said staffing was inadequate, witnessing residents who fell with nobody to help them up.
“I was absolutely shocked and appalled that they have residents living in that particular facility,” Cromwell said.
“I came here today to speak up for those people because they need help. Our society is letting that population down. And just because they’re elderly people and just because they’re sick, does not mean you write them off. They have a lot of living left to do.”
Speaking to reporters after Question Period, Health Minister Jim Reiter did not comment specifically on Cromwell’s case — she had not raised the issue with health authorities.
While Cromwell suggested poor care is a widespread problem in long-term care homes, Reiter pointed to surveys that say 80 to 90 per cent of residents and families are satisfied with the care they receive.
“That doesn’t mean we can’t improve. That means there’s 10 to 20 per cent that are not so we need to do better,” Reiter said.
“If this is a sign that there’s problems in the system, then obviously it needs to be addressed.”
The NDP’s seniors’ critic Danielle Chartier said the government had not lived up to its promise to cut executive salaries by $7.5 million and spend it on improving care.
Reiter said the government has increased staffing across the province and boosted funding by 40 per cent.
He added that long-term care would be funded “appropriately” as they work on the next budget.