Nursing home residents deserve quality care

Written by Cecile Cassista on March 26, 2019

Cecile Cassista is the executive director of the Coalition for Seniors and Nursing Home Residents’ Rights.

The government is the main funder for Community Nursing Homes in New Brunswick. So, what purpose or role does the Nursing Home Association serve?

The need for the government to restructure and take control of its own destiny has now come to reality. It’s time to rebuild a direct relationship with those who serve the vulnerable people who must reside in nursing homes. This cannot be provided adequately if there is turmoil in the workplace.

Twenty-eight months with no contract speaks volumes. Obviously a huge concern needs to be addressed. For some time the issue of hours of care has been lingering. The Shawn Graham government increased the hours of care to 3.1, with a pilot project in five nursing homes with 3.5 hours of care. The study resulted in no action. Six minutes per resident to get someone ready for breakfast is not acceptable. Some have greater needs. Staff retention has been discussed for some time. Again, no action. Increase the hours of care and staff retention and get on with governing.

Now we are locked in a labour issue that impacts the most vulnerable people of society. Interference by the courts only compounds matters. Seniors are being held hostage, and the workers’ morale with their employer is deteriorating. They are the ones on the front lines with the aging population. Should we care?

Mr. Premier, while binding arbitration is not your idea, its a resolution supported by all three opposition political parties. Vulnerable seniors must not be the target they are today. Quality care needs to be there for them.

Mr. Premier, do justice for those who can’t defend themselves.

Cecile Cassista is the executive director of the Coalition for Seniors and Nursing Home Residents’ Rights.

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