REMOVING AGEISM IN THE TREATMENT OF PATIENTS DURING CRITICAL HEALTH CRISES/PANDEMICS
Be it resolved that SSAI lobby the Saskatchewan government and Ministry of Health to develop clear criteria to enable doctors and health care workers to judiciously provide medical treatment for patients without bias regarding age.
- As witnessed with Covid 19 there is a dire shortage of essential medical equipment required for the treatment of affected patients – ie. Tests, ventilators, masks, gloves, sanitary wipes, available beds, etc.
- Health care workers are forced to make decisions as to whom the required medical equipment/materials will or will not be provided.
- Resilience of a patient is not necessarily determined by age.
- Seniors tend to be abandoned sooner than others in situations which require critical decisions.
- Other provinces – ie Ontario – are being proactive in developing criteria.
ESTABLISHING INFECTION SECURITY AT LONG-TERM CARE, NURSING HOMES & HOSPITALS.
Be it resolved that SSAI lobby the Saskatchewan government and Ministry of Health to establish infection security facilities and practises at the entrances to all long-term care, nursing home, seniors care and hospital facilities across
- It has been witnessed with this current covid 19 pandemic that long-term care and nursing homes become outbreak hotpoints once an infection is permitted to be brought into the facilities.
- Health care workers – paid and volunteer – who work in more than one facility can transfer the infection if not screened prior to entering the workplace.
- Infection concerns have reached the point where families are removing elderly family members from Long Term care facilities as an emergent precaution.
- Normally hospitals do not have any infection screening at entrances for workers or visitors during non-pandemic events, but do have high concentrations of super-germs.
- Pig barn operators in Saskatchewan have had infection screening practises in place to reduce the possible transfer of pathogenic materials by workers/visitors at the barn facilities
PROVIDING SUPPORT (pharmaceutical) FOR SENIORS DURING THE COVID PANDEMIC EVENT
Be it resolved that SSAI lobby the Saskatchewan government and Ministry of Health to pass the required legislation to make it mandatory for pharmacies to provide three (3) month prescriptions during the restrictive period of Covid 19 across Saskatchewan.
- At this time when costs are increasing and there is no additional financial support for seniors, the one month prescription limitation is tripling the cost of essential medications for seniors.
- Seniors on fixed income are not able to access any of the federal or provincial income support programs in place to assist families with living expenses.
- Monthly trips to the pharmacy for medication increase the chances for exposure.
- The stress, anxiety level due to the crisis and isolation is already placing the health of seniors at risk
PERSONAL STORY 1
It is very sad that the pharmacist association is using the crisis in Canada and around the world to claim there is a shortage of medicines. I acknowledge that there are shortages in some categories however, advising pharmacists to not allow 3 month prescription at a time for seniors will create enormous stress on our finances along with the stress that the Corona virus is already causing. Between my wife and I our current cost of prescription is around $2000 to
$2400 per year (based on purchasing 3 months at a time. By not allowing us to purchase the 3 months our cost per year will increase to $6000 to $7200 per year. Money we just don’t have. At this point we must decide which prescriptions we can no longer afford. Also forcing us to increase our exposure to the public by having to pick up more
often, at a time seniors are the most vulnerable.
PERSONAL STORY 2
I am concerned about the policy Saskatchewan Health has put in place for prescription renewals during the Covid19 pandemic. We are no longer allowed to refill more than one month at a time. This policy puts a major hardship on seniors who subsist on their pensions as a one month refill now costs the same as a three month refill and that is with the senior supplement. For myself this runs to almost $90.00 a month instead of for three as the dispensing fee stays the same whether you get one month or three. I am grateful to my pharmacist for getting me exemptions on the two
most expensive ones that run over $100 each or I would not be able to afford them. When I called Sask Health I was told this was put in place to stop people from stockpiling meds and causing a shortage for others – this makes no sense to me as you cannot stockpile in any event as three months is the maximum allowed and you cannot go back and get refills a week after getting refills (if that makes any sense to you.) I am sure I am not the only one who has been put into this position by this policy and I would like to see it removed or some of us will be forced to pick and choose which meds are the most important.
- LONG TERM CARE FACILITIES
Whereas the COVID pandemic has placed a lot of health challenges on the more vulnerable populations,
And whereas the seniors of the province, in particular, in Long Term Care homes form the largest group of citizens at risk.
Therefore Be it Resolved that Saskatchewan Seniors Association Incorporated lobby the government of Saskatchewan, Premier Scott Moe, the Ministers of Health and the Saskatchewan Health Authority to work to address the following concerns:
- That a National Standard for Long Term Care be established with input from each of the provinces and senior organizations.
- That at least two inspections of each of these facilities be conducted annually. One could be scheduled, the second should be unannounced.
- That better disinfection controls be established for all LTC workers entering and exiting the facilities.
- That improved staffing – sufficient training, proper resources, and number of workers – be put in place at all facilities.
- That all facilities follow the National Standard to ensure that the facilities are affordable, accessible, and have the proper capacity for their region of service.
- That a public registry be established for each facility so that clients/families can record their level of service and satisfaction at the facility.
- That all Long Term Facilities be owned and managed by the government(s), namely the Department of Health in Saskatchewan.
- That in an effort to reduce community spread of pathogens, every effort be made to have LTC workers be restricted to working at one facility only.
- FIGHTING MENTAL ILLNESS DURING COVID
Whereas covid protocols have restricted the mobility of seniors who were already suffering many challenges with accessing services and family, and their quality of life has degenerated significantly.
Whereas, covid protocols have literally reduced the ability of seniors to engage and interact with family and friends
Whereas many seniors in LTC facilities are now in total isolation due to the fact that the covid spread has reached very high levels.
And whereas, the level of mental illness among isolated seniors was a concern previously, but now has risen and become a very serious challenge.
Therefore Be it Resolved that the Saskatchewan Seniors Association Incorporate lobby the Government of Saskatchewan, Premier Scott Moe, the Ministers of Health and the Saskatchewan Health Authority to work to address the following concerns:
1) To provide higher quality internet service at an affordable rate for all of Saskatchewan seniors, especially in rural areas
2) To ensure that high quality Wi Fi Internet service is provided for all residents in each Long Term Care Home in the province.
3) To provide each LTC facility with sufficient social media tools so that each resident would have the option of using this technology to hear masses, video chat with family or watch a program of their choosing.
- ENABLING SENIOR CENTRES ECONOMIC SURVIVALTO OPERATE DURING/POST PANDEMICS
BE IT RESOLVED THAT Saskatchewan Seniors Association Incorporated work with the Municipalities of Saskatchewan to lobby the Government of Saskatchewan to implement the necessary measures to effect an abatement of charges by Saskpower, Saskenergy, Sasktel, Municipal governments for all the seniors’ clubs in Saskatchewan as soon as possible and until covid conditions enable the clubs to resume normal operational functions to enable the generation of income.
- Services for fixed costs such as power and energy need to be maintained for the operation of each facility.
- Utility services need to be abated as there has been almost absolutely no usage for activities. This includes water and sewer, and garbage pickup fees.
- Insurance charges need to be reduced due to the fact that the people traffic flow is almost zero.
- Property tax charges should be absorbed by the municipal councils. The Seniors Facility is almost the same as the community hall, arena, and curling rink and other facility buildings owned by the municipalities. In addition, when operating, the seniors’ centres provide benefit for the whole community, not just seniors. In addition, if support is not provided, the property would revert to the municipality for taxes. In addition, they would then have property maintenance costs as well.
- Specific Example.
Prior to Covid-19 (March 2020) we were able to cover our buildings cost of maintenance by hosting monthly potluck dinners, door fees when membership used the facility for card and games of pool etc. plus rental of the building for family gatherings, birthday parties, funeral lunches etc. Since the start of Covid-19 we have had no activities held in the clubhouse and it looks like we can expect to be shutdown until May or June of 2021 (14-months). Therefore $0 dollars of income for 14-months.
Our major operating costs are electric power at $1,200/yr, natural gas for building heat at $1,500/year, building insurance at $1,100/yr, and water and sewer at $1,500/yr. Therefore our total fixed operating cost before any maintenance or supplies is $5,300/yr (or $442/mth). In our last fiscal year we generated $6,595 of revenue (or $550/mth) to cover the above expenses (we also have building maintenance costs – grass mowing, toiletries, kitchen supplies etc.). Therefore on an overall basis we are just able to keep the facility operating without a loss.