Better Care is Possible: BC is getting it wrong

For Immediate Release January 20, 2020

Crying Out Loud for Quality Residential Dementia Care has launched a new program for the Comox Valley, in honor of Alzheimer’s Month.

The program has short-term goals of a higher quality of care for dementia, with higher standards and best practices incorporated from leading programmes around the world.

Crying Out Loud also insists that care homes which receive government funding should face accountability with financial consequences for non-compliance with standards. The group believes staff difficulties could be alleviated if the government mandated equal pay for equal work. Public money given to for profit operators to pay for staff salaries should go to the staff, most of whom are sacrificing to look after the residents.

After close to four months of the public administrator at Comox Valley Seniors Village, with some improvements but scant results on the floor, Crying Out Loud wants the health authority to permanently operate the three Retirement Concepts care homes on Vancouver Island. After all, public money is already paying all the expenses.

Crying Out Loud was founded by a group of caregivers with current or former family and friends in Comox Valley Seniors Village. They witnessed the deficits at CVSV, including staff shortages, wage inequality, poor food, inadequate cleaning, outbreaks of contagious diseases, lack of interaction for dementia residents, and no accountability for any of these deficits. 

The group’s long term goals are simple: No public money for for-profit care, and no foreign ownership.

We are failing some of our most vulnerable citizens, those least able to advocate for themselves. They are living with dementia in for-profit residential care homes. They, and their families expect that their loved ones will be well cared for with gentleness and most of all, dignity. But these companies have a single purpose for owning these facilities and that is to make a profit, even if it is at the expense of adequate care for dementia residents.

One day in the not too distant future, we may find ourselves in a place where we need care. Do you want to live with dementia in a Residential Care Home where profit comes before care? A place that is chronically understaffed, a place where you are allowed only one bath a week, a place where personal hygiene may not happen on a daily basis, including having your teeth brushed when you are no longer able to do it for yourself? A place where $7.62 per day is allotted to feed a person three meals a day plus two snacks a day, food is often inedible and servings reduced, in order to save money? A place where there are times that there is no staff person on the floor only residents, some of whom, as a result of their dementia, are violent, and there is no one available to stop resident-on-resident violence? A place where immobile residents are sitting around with nothing to do, no one to talk to, and no one to interact with? 

Shame on all our governments for allowing this to happen. We in British Columbia must choose to make this nightmare of suffering stop. Crying Out Loud for Quality Residential Dementia Care is looking for volunteers, from letter writing to web site maintenance. If you can help, or for more information, phone Greta Judd at 250-792-1100 cell.

We would like to thank all the members of our community for all their past support. It did make a difference. Now we need to do more, to make permanent changes.