When independent-living residents have difficulty accessing the primary care and home care supports they need to live safely at home, they’re at an increased risk of landing in emergency due to:
Chronic and preventable conditions -- such as diabetes, hypertension, heart attacks, and strokes -- that worsen due to inadequate primary care intervention.
Falls or accidents due to declining mobility, frailty, and inadequate aids to daily living (walkers, bathroom grab bars).
Medication errors or interactions due to infrequent medication/health condition monitoring at the primary care level.
Caregiver burnout and burden when a loved one with dementia or mental health issues become too difficult or progressed to manage at home.
Residents of continuing care homes may be transported to acute care more often than necessary due to limited real-time medical direction within care homes.
The reason? Most care homes have a medical director that provides overall guidance but may actually work limited shifts on-site. This means in-the-moment care decisions need to be handled by registered nurses and licensed practical nurses, who are limited by scope of practice regulations and may not be able to treat all conditions on-site. This can lead to the least-risk decision: to transfer residents to emergency transfer for medical assessment.
Learn more about how streams of care are connected.
Alberta’s continuing care system is complex, and it takes some time to understand how to access care services. Preparing ahead of time can ensure individuals and families are ready to navigate the system if and when care is ever needed.
Why new legislation is long overdue
Our continuing care system has changed a lot in 50 years. Here’s why our legislation needed to catch up with the times.
Workforce health and stability
As our continuing care workforce struggled throughout the pandemic under the weight of uncertainty, changing protocols, grief and fatigue, our operators advocated for staffing supports to retain and rejuvenate our valued staff.