QUESTION: Has the Alberta government set new directions for funding long term care services?
In 1999, a government appointed Long Term Care Review Committee released a report (the “Broda” report) recommending the adoption of new directions for the delivery and funding of long term care health care services. To set the Committee’s recommended shift in motion, the Department of Health and Wellness developed nine strategic directions identified in the eleven-page document, Strategic Directions and Future Actions: Healthy Aging and Continuing Care in Alberta (2000). However, as the 2005 Auditor General’s Report indicates, at the time of the audit, Health and Wellness did not have a plan to achieve these strategic directions. Instead, the Department asked the Regional Health Authorities to prepare business plans aimed at moving continuing care clients who would have formerly qualified for traditional long-term care facilities to new assisted and supportive living housing. This shift to the assisted living model represents significant cost shifting to individuals and their families which, by strategic design, translates into cost savings to government.
In order to understand other implications of substituting assisted living for long term care, see the following paper by Charmaine Spencer, researcher Simon Fraser University, British Columbia, where the province decided to follow the new “Alberta model” for assisted/supportive living. While this report focuses on the situation in B.C., the issues under discussion are similar to those which exist in Alberta, although there is no legislation in Alberta.
Assisted Living Consultation Response: Health and Safety, Spencer, C. (2003)
Please E-mail or write us to report your experiences with assisted living in Alberta.