PEI

'They're going to suffer': Woman concerned about husband's move from nursing home

A woman whose husband may have to move out of the Atlantic Baptist Home in December says it’s up to the facility and the P.E.I. government to find a new place for her husband to live — but she hopes it doesn’t come to that.

Pat Gill she wants answers after facility says it can't afford to care for her husband with dementia

'Build one less roundabout and put some more money into the healthcare system,' said Pat Gill. (CBC)

A woman whose husband may have to move out of the Atlantic Baptist Home in December says it's up to the facility and the P.E.I. government to find a new place for her husband to live — but she hopes it doesn't come to that.

The non-profit home said last week it's been losing money, and announced plans to shut down 41 beds, including 31 for dementia patients.

Pat Gill says that moving — especially for people like her husband Brian, who has dementia — can be traumatic. "If I move him from one side of the unit, outside the door of the unit, he's very agitated," she said.

"So if you take these folks and put them into an environment that they don't know, and introduce them to a group of staff that they don't know, you're not doing them any good. They're going to suffer. And that's not right."

Gill is also concerned about whether there's anywhere for her husband to go.

"There are no beds," she said of the waiting list to get into long-term care on P.E.I. "I could get on the phone and call everybody and their dog but there's still no bed for him. There are folks languishing in hospital beds for months and months and months waiting for a long-term care bed."

P.E.I. Atlantic Baptist Homes announced they'll be cutting 41 beds and reducing staff because of a lack of government funding. (Google)

A spokesperson for the P.E.I. Department of Health and Wellness told CBC News government is "working with both the public and private long-term care facilities to explore … how to address the immediate needs of the affected residents at Atlantic Baptist Home and how we ensure a minimal disruption in the lives of these residents and their families."

Won't end up on wait list says province 

The spokesperson said the department does not anticipate the 41 residents who could be displaced from Atlantic Baptist Home will end up joining the 56 Islanders currently on a waiting list to be placed into a long-term care facility.

Those 56 people include 30 receiving home care support, 18 staying at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital, six waiting to move from community care facilities, and two staying at Hillsborough Hospital.

The Atlantic Baptist Home said the per diem government pays private nursing homes isn't enough to provide the necessary level of care.

Arbitration hearings scheduled for October

According to government, the current per diem is $181.40 for patients who are fully subsidized. For residents who have to pay their own room and board, the per diem from government is $101.05 per day to cover healthcare-related expenses, with an extra $10 for patients in a dementia unit.

Those rates form part of an agreement with the P.E.I. Nursing Home Association that expired in March 2016. Arbitration hearings are set to go ahead this October after government and the association were unable to agree on a new contract.

The previous contract, which began in 2013, was also the result of arbitration after the two sides couldn't agree that time.

'Build one less roundabout'

Gill said she and her husband don't qualify to be fully-subsidized, and pay almost $3400 per month themselves to the Atlantic Baptist Home.

She said as far as she can tell, the facility is doing the best it can with the finances it receives. She questioned government's spending priorities.

"Build one less roundabout and put some more money into the healthcare system," she said.

She said she hopes someone from government attends a meeting scheduled by Atlantic Baptist for Wednesday night for families that could be affected by the planned bed closures.

"I would really like to see a representative from government … to come and answer some questions for us. Because we have lots of questions."

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