Changes to the financial assessment process for seniors entering long-term care are being hailed as a positive step forward by some, but other changes are raising serious questions for others.
Paul Oram who runs a number of personal care homes in the province says government has changed the way it determines levels of care for subsidies. Oram says that’s affecting Level 1 clients who he estimates make up about 70 per cent of those entering personal care homes.
He claims that government is no longer subsidizing Level 1 residents, based on physical impairment. Oram says that’s new.
Health Minister John Haggie says that’s not the case. He says the subsidies are still there, but the demand has gone up dramatically in central Newfoundland, meaning that subsidies are now being based on clinical need rather than the order in which they’re received.
He says another 400 beds are going up in central, 200 in Gander alone. He says if one subsidy is available, and two people have applied, the subsidy will go to the person with the greater need. In other words, a Level 2 will get the subsidy while the Level 1 will have to wait for the next subsidy.
That’s still of great concern to the province’s Quality Living Alliance Association. President Beverly Russell says newly developed messaging was sent to regional health authorities, and central is not alone. She says it has “really changed” how seniors qualify as a Level 1.
She says as a result there are a large number of Level 1 residents who won’t get a subsidy for a long period of time.
Minister Haggie says they’re meeting with the Personal Care Home association on the matter tomorrow.
Listen to Suzanne Brake on the VOCM Morning Show with Andrew Hawthorn below: