People living in long-term care homes should get more than one bath per week, according to Saskatchewan's NDP opposition who asked the government to mandate a basic standard for baths.
Cam Broten, leader of the NDP, noted Alberta recently created a rule mandating that seniors in care would get two baths per week.
Broten said he has heard a lot of complaints about inadequate care in homes in Saskatchewan.
"People have too many stories ... of instances where seniors are in care and do not have the level of dignity and the quality of life that they need," Broten said Wednesday. "To me it's a common sense approach that seniors deserve more than one bath a week."
Saskatchewan's Health Minister, Dustin Duncan, said the government will take a look at what Alberta is doing.
Duncan noted that in Alberta the definition of bath may include a sponge bath and the mandate of two baths may not be a substantial improvement.
Saskatchewan has a minimum requirement for long-term residents to get one full bath per week, where the resident is fully immersed in a tub. The resident is also supposed to get additional sponge baths as needed.
The only time they don't get the full immersion is if the resident can not for some reason such as surgery or due to mobility issues. In such cases they would receive a sponge bath.
Duncan said he wants to be cautious before setting down mandates for specific actions in a facility.
"I don't want to send the signal to residents and to families that that is all that is required of health care providers," Duncan said. "We want to see that interaction between health care providers and residents on a daily basis."