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LETTER: Staff increases and personality evaluations urgently needed in senior facilities

To the Editor:

I have been keeping track of the Senior Advocates reports which are an excellent example of extensive research that outlines all aspects of the care that our seniors are receiving in this province.

Then I read her news release, which gains much more attention than the actual report does. She has highlighted the rising problem of "Resident on Resident Aggression" in care facilities, and stated that she would be looking for "systemic issues" that contribute to this problem. I am disappointed by this statement because the solution to this problem is contained within the information in her report, which she failed to mention in her news release.

And that information is, that licensing violations have increased by 21% since 2014. And that the largest majority of those violations, at 44%, are in the category of "Care and Supervision" and 19.8% in the category of "Staffing". And in Assisted Living, the largest percentage of complaints are in the category of "Resident abuse, neglect, and self abuse".

Eureka! I have discovered the obvious solution to improving the quality of care for our seniors, that oddly enough, the entire Health Ministry has failed to notice or acknowledge. And those are: An increase in staff levels, mandatory evaluations for the "appropriate type" of employees, and more training for dealing with dementia related issues. All of these solutions to be found in a report that 90% of BC citizens will never read.

Do you think that our tax dollars will now be saved because "looking for the systemic issues" should no longer be necessary?

Judy Galley, Sorento, BC