Good people need help too

Priority given to acute care patients requiring residential care

Editor, The Record:

My mother, Dorothy Burns, lived in Mission for 30 years. When our father died, Mum lived in her home as long as safely possible, until moving to The Cedars assisted living facility on Hurd Street.

She was granted a subsidy, suitable to her pension. When she needed residential care, she wanted to move next door to Pleasantview, but Fraser Health moved her to Menno Hospital in Abbotsford.

With no choice, she had 24 hours to move there, or have her name dropped off the list for residential care.

She lost contact with her friends who were unable to drive to visit. Staff were caring but unable to give her as much assistance as at The Cedars. She lost the ability to walk. We moved her to a private pay bed at Maple Ridge Seniors Village to get better care. Her name is on the transfer list, waiting for a subsidized bed in her facility.

Told it would be a maximum two years wait, we hoped that with her life savings she could squeak through 2.5 years. The good news is with their ongoing care, and walking program at the seniors village, after two years, Mum has re-learned to walk.

The bad news is her life savings have run out, and still she has not been re-instated with a subsidy. Our family has asked and asked, but names on the transfer list do not move.

Her case manager says it might be a six-year wait. Priority is given to acute care patients requiring residential care, helping FHA cut costs.

What I don’t understand is how in 2011/12, there were 844 employees in the FHA earning $100,000 annually or more. Dr. Nigel Murray, FHA CEO, earns $466,000 per year. More than three times the amount my Mum had in life savings.

I know you have to pay good money to get good people, but what about the good people who don’t have enough good money? This is a woman who worked in a munitions factory during the way, raised five sons, took in foster kids needing medical help and lost her youngest son to cancer. When will someone in the system advocate for her?

In 2010 Dr. Murray said, “We must ensure that area seniors have access to the best care options and services they need as they age.”

I wish he would help my Mum.

Phil Burns