POLITICS

Woman says $10 million fund fine, but staffing biggest concern at care homes

10/02/2013 10:35 EDT | Updated 12/02/2013 05:12 EST
REGINA - Some relatives of residents at long-term care homes say a Saskatchewan Party pledge of $10 million to fix ongoing problems is just a start.

Carrie Klassen was one of those who complained several months ago about the level of support her mother was getting at a care home in Regina.

A subsequent review found elderly patients sometimes were bathed only once a week or ended up soiling themselves because no one helped them to the toilet.

Klassen says the new fund is a step in the right direction, but she believes it needs to be in place on a continuous basis.

She says many of the current issues at facilities across the province can be addressed simply by increasing staff levels.

However, Health Minister Dustin Duncan says he'd like to encourage using current staff more effectively.

He also says he'd like to see more seniors stay in their own homes longer so they won’t need to go to care facilities in the first place.

“Where’s the commitment to increase the staffing ratios? What’s the long term plan for this?” asked Klassen.

She said she’ll continue to press the provincial government to see if a solution on staffing levels can be found.

(CJME)