Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 9/2/2018 (648 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
Experiencing a decline in health of oneself, a family member or a close friend is one of life’s most difficult challenges. Many times, moving into a personal care home becomes part of that journey.
During such transitions, families often feel vulnerable and stressed out. They want the resources and services they need to be available close to home, with as little administrative headache as possible.
In Canada, we have the wealth and the expertise to make that possible, but not without strong leadership from government. Unfortunately, we are being let down when it comes to planning and funding our healthcare.
Already this year, there have been a number of stories in our local media about the need for more personal care home beds in Winnipeg. Transcona is one of the fastest growing areas of the city, yet has only half the number of care home beds as many other areas of Winnipeg.
Families in northeast Winnipeg have known for a long time that more beds are needed in our community; not because of any academic study, but because they have seen friends or family be placed in Deer Lodge, or other care homes across the city. These placements are supposed to be temporary. Families are told it will only be until a space becomes available closer to home. But too often, these placements end up being permanent.
That is why residents of Transcona and the surrounding area were so excited when Park Manor announced its plans for expansion were ready to go.
It is hard to read stories about the need for more care home beds and not be frustrated that the provincial government has put northeast Winnipeg back at square one.
We would all like to save money, but when the time comes that we need support for our family, we also want the best care. We were slated for a first-class care home expansion at Park Manor and now it is unclear what the plan will be.
The province’s fixation on building cheap care home beds will mean rich communities that can do more private fundraising will be able to build state-of-the-art facilities, while working people in blue collar neighbourhoods like ours will have to take what they can get.
We have to start building new beds now if they are going to be in place for when boomers need them. We are hearing that in the news and from the WRHA.
If the government wants to redesign long-term care to make it cheaper, so be it. I hope they can succeed, although I do not believe it is as easy as they say to cut costs without compromising care.
Either way, cancelling beds that are ready to be built while conducting this experiment is the wrong call. For the sake of residents in Transcona and the surrounding area, we need shovels in the ground at Park Manor.
Elmwood-Transcona constituency report.
Daniel Blaikie is the NDP MP for Elmwood-Transcona.