Thursday, 27 June 2019

We talk with Dr. Ellen Hickey about how in Nova Scotia we give up way too easily on people with dementia. “When it comes to long term care, all you hear is doctors, drugs, nurses. What about the rest of the team? There is all kinds of know-how that will help keep people off these drugs, that will keep them out of the doctor’s office. Isn’t that what it is all about?”

Karis Mitchell: Nova Scotia needs a provincial long term care strategy that revisits training and staffing hours so that the care facilities can provide the optimal care that is required by its residents. To be placed in a care facility at such a vulnerable stage in our lives can be traumatizing, so it is our responsibility to ensure that we speak openly about these concerns. We must speak up for those that do not have a voice, and those that voices that may not be perceived as valuable in our society. 

Late last week Nova Scotia’s auditor general reported that the province lacks a plan for delivering mental health services to all Nova Scotians, and that standards for wait times aren’t being met. New contributor Jessica Briand has seen it all. “In the last seven years I have seen eight different mental health professionals. I’ve witnessed first-hand the flaws in mental healthcare in Nova Scotia,” she writes.

This is a story as told to us by Ellen Gaudet, who suggests all is not well with long term care in Nova Scotia. Several years ago Gaudet’s parents both resided in a long term care facility in Halifax. When Gaudet noticed things didn’t seem right she spoke up. Neither the facility nor the government really wanted to hear what she had to say. “I want to encourage other people to not abandon their loved ones,” she concludes.

The recent allegations of abuse against Matthew Meisner, a resident of Emerald Hall at the Nova Scotia Hospital, have been widely reported, including by the NS Advocate. We went back and talked with Matthew’s mother to learn more about the string of incidents that keep her awake at night, and how she finds the strength to continue on when most everybody she deals with just wants her to go away.