Loading articles...

Prominent case highlights need for long-term care: NDP

BURNABY (NEWS1130) – A former Burnaby councillor’s case is being used to highlight a need for more long-term care beds and specialized treatment for chronic diseases like Alzheimer’s. The NDP’s health critic says it’s the kind of care many of us will need one day.

Douglas Evans served on Burnaby council for 15 years until 2005; he now has Alzheimer’s. Evans wound up lost and confused during a walk three months ago. Evans has been in acute care at Burnaby Hospital ever since.

His family claims when he was admitted, Evans was restrained, heavily drugged, and left in a diaper. The NDP’s Mike Farnworth says that’s not acceptable. “A long-term care facility that is specializing in Alzheimer’s would be a significant improvement over somebody being in an acute care bed at $1,500 a day.”

“We’re all getting older and one day, many of us may, in fact, develop Alzheimer’s and we need to ensure that those services are there,” he emphasizes.

To make things worse, Evans’ family says the 83-year-old first came down with pneumonia at Burnaby Hospital before contracting C. difficile during a recent outbreak.

“The overlying problem is that the hospital is not ideally suited to deal with patients like Mr. Evans,” adds Farnworth. “Unfortunately, we’ve seen many cases like this of patients requiring specialized care being placed in general wards at hospitals, simply because there were no other options available.”

“This is inefficient from a financial point of view. But more importantly, it’s bad for the family and bad for the patient,” he notes.

Statement from Fraser Health:

Fraser Health Patient Care Quality Office (PCQO) received a letter Sept. 17, 2012 and is working with family members and caregivers at Burnaby Hospital to address concerns. A Patient Care Quality Officer has spoken to family members and is in the process of gathering and reviewing information. Patients and family members are encouraged to work directly with doctors, nurses and other caregivers to address patient care concerns. When concerns can’t be resolved at the hospital level, the Fraser Health PCQO is there to help mediate and work towards a successful resolution.

We understand that it is very frustrating and distressing for family members when a loved one’s condition deteriorates unexpectedly and share their desire for the patient to be discharged from hospital and transferred to a residential care facility that can provide appropriate care as soon as possible; however, patients need to be stabilized and have their acute care needs met before they can be properly assessed and transferred to residential care. If a patient’s condition changes during a hospital stay, this can sometimes mean that the patient will need to be assessed more than once and a care plan that was previously appropriate may need to change. In this case, another assessment for residential care placement will be completed as soon as the patient is properly stabilized.