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  • karen
    October 27, 2013 - 19:48

    Nurse staffing in long term care, as well as in acute care hospitals is frequently & randomly short. Management are working with a staffing model that was established by government, one that is fundamentally flawed because it is strongly based on financial justification of human resources and not equated with capacity to keep patients/residents safe. What do professional nursing associations have to say on this point? I understand that nurses' primary duty, whether in mangagement or direct-care, is to keep patients safe? Are nursing managers being co-opted by government and staffing models to work as financial managers of a squeezed system rather than leaders of safe patient/resident care?

  • robroy
    October 09, 2013 - 20:45

    from all the comments I have seen so far there seems to be truths and uneducated comments made here The biggest one is about emotions. I just retired from eastern health and in long term care Hoyles actually and let me reassure you that there is no staff that don't get emotional with the residents and families.I have laughed cried and comforted with families and some have been there 20 years or more so NOT all are transitional. As for care I will be the first to admit that it has suffered I will however NEVER admit that anyone went anymore than 24 hours with out a bath. I will defy and call anyone a liar who says this They may not get in a bath tub but they will get a bed bath and their hair will be washed. staff at Hoyles are demoralized to the highest degree. Every staff member in that institution loves their job but because of management they hate showing up Everyone is constantly looking over his or her back. As for medication that's the Drs I would love for someone who has the smarts to investigate eastern health when it comes to Hoyles Escasoni Its a huge spot and I don't think there are to many management there who are have the personality to do their job One would think a resident care manager would be a nurse. When it comes to questions about meds or medical suggestions and your manager can't answer where do u go? Hold your heads up high staff of hoyles escasoni you are number 1

  • All Falling Apart
    October 09, 2013 - 19:13

    It's not just long term care. Take a look at the HSC stroke unit. They have only one part-time physiotherapist. Patients blatantly do without adequate rehabilitation due to upper management's budgetary constraints. So much for Canada's recommended best practice stroke guidelines(www.strokebestpractices.ca). Frontline staff do their best to provide medical care and a caring environment for patients, but when the resources are not available, it results in disgruntled staff and patients who miss out on valuable services.

  • Alice Apple
    October 09, 2013 - 16:49

    How much does it cost per month to keep a person in Hoyles-Escsoni as compared to a facility such as Chancellor Park?

  • Disappointed
    October 09, 2013 - 16:30

    So if "its not a policy as such" what is it a directive by management that there will be no 1 on 1 coverage for shortages unless approved because of a reduced budget... Somehow government and managers of these facilities have made decisions based on reduced funding... that destroys the basic dignity of the most vulnerable in our society. All I've heard from government and managers are excuses while our seniors are subjected to substandard care... Substandard because while staffing levels are supposedly established by national standards, we have heard that there serious concerns with leave... so to operate below standard levels means these facilities are operating at substandard levels.... and our loved ones are suffering.

  • Hurtin' Unit
    October 09, 2013 - 16:08

    The residents are not the only ones who suffer here. Nursing staff that work in this depleted environment are also prone to burnout, soft tissue injury, and stress. How does the policy of not covering sick leave shortages help this situation? I can tell you from experience it does not, if you care, and you work hard for your residents your efforts are never enough to do what needs to be done, you are left defeated at the end of the day.

  • Susan Williams
    October 09, 2013 - 15:10

    I couldn't agree more. These discussions and statement if facts are by no way a means of pointing fingers of blame. It is all to evident that the current system that is in place is not working - and deteoriating very quickly. My mother has been over medicated, and I all too often find myself looking for her possessions that have disappeared from the locked ward. How many times do you have to walk in and find her sitting in a soiled pad of urine and feces before you start to wonder - how ling has she been sitting like this? How long before she would have been changed? I commend 80% of the staff who are truly dedicated to the residents to whom they look after; but it just isn't good enough anymore. We as a civilized society should hang our heads in shame for allowing these residents to be degraded in such a manner. What if it was you who was living like this - How would you feel? A concerned and loving daughter who carries a broken heart for her mother and the way she has to live out her last years of life!

  • Robyn Beck
    October 09, 2013 - 14:55

    I work in long term care and if the staffing levels were up, there wouldn't be so many sick calls. Most of the staff off work are off due to injury at work because the workload is so heavy!!!!!

    • Hurtin' Unit
      October 09, 2013 - 16:14

      This is the absolute truth, working this way is not sustainable, and a very hard way to take care of human beings...

  • graham
    October 09, 2013 - 14:22

    As to being overmedicated, eastern health recently have new guidelines..... you can ask about the med side affects!. Many meds used on seniors, especially patients with some dementia are toxic to brain cells. Yes, that means they are poisonous!. The damage they do depends on one age , sex, dosage and other factors. Also none of the public realize that some of these meds are toxic, and are used as sedatives, or to manage the patient. There should be a requirement for informed consent before administering these dangerous drugs. And the fewer nursing and support staff, the more these drugs get used. There should be strict formal protocol, not just a doctors opinion, before using these drugs. Formal protocol would require documentation of the need and advantages, risk versus the negative and dangerous side effects. Where's the charter of rights when it applies to patients with some dementia? Cutbacks and efficiencies are on the backs of the old and ill. Bad drugs, insufficient personal care, poor quality food.... and they are unable to complain. It is shameful, if not criminal.

  • Brenda
    October 09, 2013 - 13:50

    Not only are they understaffed they are hiring incompetent staff. And dare you complain or speak up for you relative and you are told you are an "Angry Family". This came from the management.

  • Virginia Waters
    October 09, 2013 - 11:59

    Hoyles-Escasoni is considered the entry point for seniors by Eastern Health. All seniors' homes in the system are struggling with space, staffing and menu issues. But their problems pale in comparison with H/E. It is a cluttered, dirty old placet hat is now being replaced but should have been replaced a long time ago. The families of most residents, like the staff themselves, are constantly looking for a transfer. Staff are so demoralized that some don’t take their responsibilities seriously. Given its transient nature and deplorable physical state, staff avoid investing emotionally in residents. When my mother was there, family struggled constantly with staff to ensure she could get out of bed everyday. The food was very unhealthy. Like Mr. Kavanagh, we raised the issue of salt with management. On Sundays they served Jiggs Dinner. Most old people love Jiggs Dinner but, ironically, many found it so salty that they turned it down – and these are people who like their salt! One Sunday I strolled through the unit asking residents and staff alike about the numbers of people who ate the dinner and those who refused. I concluded that a third to a half rejected it (which was also borne out by the wagons full of uneaten or half eaten meals). Many of these people are already being treated for hypertension - the last thing they need is a meal that contains well over a day's recommended salt intake. We arranged a meeting with the dietician. Her only response was that taste issues (i.e. seasonings including salt) were largely left up to the cooks. She acknowledged that some cooks liked their meals salty. It would be interesting to see the correlation between cardiac arrests and the salt content of the meals that proceeded them. No doubt spaghettios and the like will shave a few dollars off meal costs, but its value as a mechanism for thinning out the resident population ahead of time is priceless. As for Ms. Porter's concern that present conditions at the home could bring tragedy, the reality is that needless deaths occur daily now in all government's seniors facilities. Eastern Health and the Minister of Health will insist that its not about money, but in the great majority of cases it can be traced back to a lack of money. And as more of the baby boom moves into care, it will only get worse. There are a few things seniors and those approaching their senior years need to keep in mind. The first is that the health and safety net you have always assumed would be there for you - won't. The second is that it's never too late to take responsibility for your own health. If you are prepared to go against almost everything government has told you about how to stay healthy, you can extend the quantity - and more importantly - the quality of your remaining years. It means eating whole, wholesome foods (not bread and spaghettios), exercising every single day for an hour or two, and staying engaged in everything going on around you. And finally, if you must go into one of these substandard facilities then make sure you have someone - a dedicated family member or friend - who is prepared to play bad cop on your behalf. Anyone who knows these places will tell you it is still the squeaky wheel that gets the grease,

  • Bay Nurse
    October 09, 2013 - 11:49

    It is sad to see our seniors neglected and left in bed for long periods of time-- sometimes unclean. All nursing homes are understaffed and it is caused by government budget cutbacks. The Minister of Health should have a medical background and have more supervision.

  • East End Boy
    October 09, 2013 - 10:30

    So glad to see that the public is now learning what staff have seen for some time: staff are doing the best with what they have, but are rushing through care to meet the needs of all residents, which leads to injury and mistakes made in haste. Any concerns brought to management are usually dismissed and nursing staff are told to "suck it up" as that's just the way things are. Our province's seniors deserve so much better...

  • saelcove
    October 09, 2013 - 10:02

    There are a lot of sons and daughters that could help but would rather complane , To busy enjoying life

    • Allan
      October 09, 2013 - 20:47

      Couldn't agree more saelcove. Far too many children are ignoring the people who brought them into this world, raised them, cared for them and provided for them. When there parents need them...too bad Mom & Dad: "We have a trip to Cuba planned; I have to work because we need another BMW; I have my own life mom and dad." A nursing home should be considered only when a parent's needs go beyond what the average person is capable of providing. The younger generation is far too selfish and the psychology industry is telling them it's all a-ok.

  • Gerri
    October 09, 2013 - 09:19

    I am not in the public service but I whole heartedly agree with Carol, there needs to be more permanent positions created in the health care system to meet the demands of our sick and aging society. The general population and voters of this province need to stand up and demand better health care for our people. What else do we have if we don't have our health?. Would we not prefer to have more of OUR taxes directed towards health care so we could have a better quality of life.?? Would we object to our taxes being raised (within reason) to provide this very necessary service to us all? How many people do you see each and every day of the week in the waiting rooms of the two hospitals (and the Waterford) waiting for tests or to see a doctor. The waiting period to see some specialists can be up to two years. People are suffering and dying due to insufficient health care (I know because I've had many family members and friends fall victim). Our tax dollars can be spent on many things...NONE of which are as important as health care. We (the province) can effect change, if we demand it...however, we need to do it as a whole...otherwise..we get bandaid solutions in order to silence, and ensure votes in upcoming elections. We have power as a whole....let's use it. I can't think of a single more important issue to address...if we do not have our health we can offer nothing to family or society in general....only what we cost them..

  • CS
    October 09, 2013 - 09:18

    With all due respect, Alice Kennedy, vice-president of long-term care at Eastern Health, what does it mean "its not a policy as such." Family members have been told that this is the case... and when administration does attempt to find relief if their is a second shortage is to find relief by going through the units asking staff currently working if they want to work beyond their regular shift to cover off shortages. It is disgraceful who there is an attempt here to skew the truth.

  • Peter
    October 09, 2013 - 06:48

    I take exception to Alice Kennedy's comment that, because two facilities are under one management team, they THINK it's OK to solve one facilities crisis at the expense of another's. I have union background and have never heard of this type of action being taken before; it flies in the face of NAPE's collective agreements.......THERE ARE NO TRANSITION AGREEMENTS WITH EASTERN HEALTH!! Furthermore, when staff are bounced from one facility to another "when there was absolutely no alternative", is any consideration given to an orientation to the site / procedures / residents / safety, etc. To be thrown into a situation that is already chaotic due to shortages doesn't even remotely consider the safety of the staff in question OR, more importantly, those vulnerable individuals whose care their charged with!