POP: Level 1 & 2 Care Home Facilities
Res #: POP 1-09M
Responses Received: No
Departments: Saskatchewan Ministry of Health
Whereas there is a need for affordable Level 1 & 2 personal care home facilities in Saskatchewan;
Whereas the long term sustainability of personal care homes in Saskatchewan, particularly in rural Saskatchewan is in jeopardy;
Whereas, without change, the cost to live in existing facilities will soar out of reach of the majority of seniors and the likelihood that new facilities will open in the future will be virtually eliminated;
Be It Resolved that SARM lobby the Provincial Government for support in funding Level 1 & 2 care home facilities in rural Saskatchewan.
Response from the Honourable Don McMorris, Minister of Health:
Our government and the Ministry of Health value the contributions of older persons, and we plan to ensure that the health, dignity and well-being of all older persons in Saskatchewan are protected and promoted. Through funding to the regional health authorities, the Ministry of Health does publicly fund "special-care" (long-term care) homes, which provide care to individuals with heavy care needs.
The ministry's role respecting personal care homes is one of licensing and monitoring to ensure that the residents who live in these homes receive safe and adequate care. At this time, with the exception of one pilot project, there is no direct government funding provided to personal care home facilities.
It is important to know that personal care homes are privately owned and operated facilities that offer accommodation, meals, and supervision or assistance with personal care to people who generally do not need or do not want the level of health services provided in publicly subsidized special-care homes. It is the combination of providing both accommodation and care that makes a facility a personal care home.
Residents do not have to demonstrate need to be admitted to a personal care home, rather the resident chooses that service option. As well, personal care home operators are free to decide who to admit to the home based on the services they provide. The type of care provided in personal care homes varies from home to home. While personal care homes usually care for people with lighter care needs, some homes may provide care to persons with heavier care needs.
Our government is working on a Seniors' Care Strategy. This strategy is expected to provide a framework for enhanced programs and services for Saskatchewan seniors. The purpose of the strategy is to identify and address gaps in the current continuum of care.
In May 2009, Ms. Laura Ross, MLA, Regina Qu'Appelle Valley was appointed
as Legislative Secretary to examine five specific issues that would inform the
development of the Seniors' Care Strategy. We are aware that affordable supportive accommodation is a significant issue for some seniors. Access to personal care homes is one of the areas that Ms. Ross is looking into. The other areas are abuse of older persons, home care supports, fall prevention, and the feasibility of establishing a seniors' secretariat.
During the course of Ms. Ross’ work she has completed 13 public consultations relating to the five focus areas, to hear the voice of seniors and other stakeholders. Ms. Ross is currently reviewing the information she gathered and is expected to provide her recommendations to me in the Spring 2010. The findings from the Patient First Review and Ms. Ross' work respecting the long-term care initiative will inform the development of the Seniors' Care Strategy.