Care home operators face many challenges
Part II of a special series by CBC News and Radio-Canada
Many operators of personal care homes in Saskatchewan say they would like to see more training for service providers in the business, and more support from government in a number of areas.
CBC News in collaboration with Radio-Canada has published inspection reports for 193 personal care homes in the province.
While those reports can provide valuable insights regarding conditions in a home, many say the documents do not reveal the full picture of a resident's day to day life.
At the Sunrise Country Haven in McLean, east of Regina, operator Corinne Pauliuk tries to create a home-like atmosphere where residents with rural backgrounds can feel comfortable.
"Anyone who is interested or able in helping me out in the garden or in the flower beds, they come and join me," Pauliuk explained. "And if they can't, then they're more than willing to help shell peas, and you name it. "
Often, however, small things that add to the quality of life in a home are not reflected in an inspection report.
Pauliuk, who heads an industry organization for smaller care homes, has suggested provincial officials include positive notes when reports are published. Ministry officials, however, were only interested in releasing their documents, which show if a home is following a list of regulations.
"They have to base everything on fact," Pauliuk said. "So they can only base things on a violation of a regulation."
Pauliuk is also advocating for workers in privately run care homes to get the same training and protection as those in the public sector. Currently, many workers only take a two day course before starting work in a home.
The Regina Personal Care Homes Association, of which Pauliuk is a member, tries to pool resources to put on courses and help operators meet existing regulations.
Pauliuk noted that more regulations for care homes could lead to higher prices for residents, many of whom are on fixed incomes.
CBC News worked on this series in partnership with our colleagues at Radio-Canada
"If they are on old age and CPP only, and they still have to pay for the medications on top of paying for the care home, they wouldn't even be making the payment for the care home," Pauliuk said. "It's just not enough."
She suggests the province increase assistance to people who must move into an assisted living facility.
Pauliuk also said that increasing regulations could tend to make some places feel less like a home and more like an institution.