The Saskatchewan Health Ministry has identified some disturbing problems with some of its long-term care homes — and says it will spend $10 million to address them.
Health Minister Dustin Duncan announced that money Tuesday as part of his review of care homes in the province.
Duncan said there's a lot of things working well in Saskatchewan's facilities, but there are also some problems that require urgent action.
Health officials said some of the residents of homes in the Saskatoon Health Region were experiencing delays in being helped to the toilet, in some cases resulting in residents soiling themselves.
Residents in other health regions were only getting one bath a week. Some said the food was cold and medications were arriving late.
Earlier this spring, Duncan ordered CEOs of health regions to spend time on the front lines and report back.
The opposition has been raising cases of seniors waiting on the toilet for help from over-worked staff — among other issues.
Duncan says the review did identify some problems and he is taking those very seriously.
Suellen Beatty is CEO of the Sherbrooke Community Centre in Saskatoon.
She says there are physical improvements that can be made to facilities with the $10 million and that the money is welcome.
But she adds that money is not the only answer.
"You know, if you look what's happening in our population we have people who are living longer but they're living with chronic diseases. And so that has changed the face of long term care as well," she said.
Beatty says what's needed is a change in philosophy. Seniors need to feel as though they can grow and learn and evolve in their long-term care homes.