CARE-WATCH JUNE 20, 2020

Long-Term Care Today

New Feature: News from the front lines in Seniors’ LTC, Inspired by Carol Wodak founding member of CITIZEN WATCH

BACKGROUNDER: CITIZEN WATCH was created as a public service for the people of Alberta.  It was the work of an ever-widening network of individuals from across the province, including families and friends of long term care and assisted or supportive living residents and those requiring long term care supports in their own homes. CITIZEN WATCH WEBSITE 

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PRINTABLES:Carol’s complete collection of carefully crafted carewatch content

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INDEX (Carols’s contributed collated collections by date)

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Quotes of the Week:

Until now, long-term care homes were the largest source of COVID-19 cases in the province. Only 26 cases remain in facilities, with more than 708 recovered. There will be opportunities next week for residents, staff and family members at long-term care homes to provide input on how to allow visitors in those facilities.

Dr. Deena Hinshaw Alberta’s chief medical officer of health
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We have to find a way for families to connect meaningfully with their loved ones in long-term care, especially over situations like shared grief, I’m hoping that we will see a change to the visitor policy in the very near future.

 B.C. Seniors Advocate Isobel Mackenzie.

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Main Headline:

Omnibus bill would bring pandemic daycare rules, keep continuing care workers at one site

One worker, one site rule to remain 

…the bill would keep long-term care and seniors’ home workers reporting to only one work site for 18 more months.

The rule was designed to prevent transmission of the virus by employees and contractors who work in more than one continuing care home. Seniors are particularly vulnerable to COVID-19. So far, 116 of the 151 Albertans who have died of the disease were residents of long-term or supportive living facilities.

$2-an-hour wage top up for health-care aides working in private care homes will continue until there is a vaccine for COVID-19, Shandro said.

The wage boost was introduced to combat staff shortages earlier in the pandemic when outbreaks caused absenteeism of up to 20 per cent in some care homes, Shandro said.

A dispute between the Alberta Union of Provincial Employees and private care home operators has delayed some of those workers receiving the extra wages.

“These workers deserve that money,” Shandro said. “This needs to be dealt with quickly by these folks. I expect AUPE to want to work with the employers to resolve this issue and allow these workers to get what’s owed to them.”

AUPE central vice-president Bonnie Gostola said Thursday the union has received pushback from some employers who say the wage top ups aren’t part of their collective agreements.

Shandro said Thursday the issue remains unresolved at 94 care homes.

Gostola was happy to hear Bill 24 includes job-protected leave and a proposed extension of the one-site rule for workers. Although she was also pleased to hear the wage top-ups will stick around, she said the execution of that bonus pay has not been smooth.

Despite a federal government announcement more than a month ago, the Alberta government has yet to say which front-line workers will qualify for additional wage top-ups cost-shared by both levels of government.

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