Open letter to Adrian Dix, Minister Of Health.
We know that you have inherited a broken and woefully underfunded healthcare system. You have a lot of work to do and it needs to be done soon.
Our family is experiencing our own struggle trying to navigate through a near-impossible maze of red tape and bureaucracy to find appropriate and safe care for our 89-year-old mother.
Our nemesis is Fraser Health, although we are certain this neglectful and shameful treatment of vulnerable seniors exists in all health authorities.
Our story is not unique but needs to be addressed.
Our mother, since the death of our father six years ago, has been on a slow but steady decline. She has been living in an independent seniors home in South Surrey for 3½ years. She is now legally blind from macular degeneration. Her overall health has been failing quickly over the past 6-8 weeks.
She needed to be admitted through emergency at Peace Arch Hospital just over a month ago. She had shingles, weight loss of over 25 pounds and was not able to properly toilet herself for fear of falling. She was barely able to walk, even with a walker.
It was becoming evident that she would likely need a higher level of care, and our hope was that with some convalescence on the Pathways unit, she would be assessed and an appropriate plan would be put in place.
Wow, were we ever wrong. There is no plan, no assessment. She is being discharged at the end of the week.
She is still weak, she is confused and frightened. We are terrified of what lies ahead. We, her children, are not able or equipped to take on the full-time care we know she needs.
What are our options?
We now have to look at the private sector. According to a Fraser Health pencil-pushing number cruncher who has not even met our mother, she does not meet the criteria for placement in a subsidized-care facility.
So far, our research shows that the cost will be in the neighbourhood of $6,000-$7,000 per month. We may actually be able to do this, but what if we couldn’t. What happens then? Frail and vulnerable seniors are being literally kicked to the curb.
Our empathy goes to the caring staff at Peace Arch Hospital. One can only imagine the morale and ethical dilemmas they face each day providing care under these conditions.
We implore you and Premier John Horgan’s NDP caucus to take immediate action to remedy the terrible situation that the previous government created.
Janice Buchanan, White Rock
Allan Collishaw, Sidney
Megan Korol, Kelowna
Jennifer Olson, Saanich