Bill would give con­tin­u­ing-care res­i­dents a voice

The McLeod River Post - - Family, Farm & Garden -

New leg­is­la­tion would give res­i­dents of long-term and li­censed sup­port­ive care fa­cil­i­ties more say in their qual­ity of life and how their homes are run.

The Res­i­dent and Fam­ily Coun­cils Act would guar­an­tee res­i­dents and fam­i­lies the right to es­tab­lish self-gov­ern­ing coun­cils at any long-term care and li­censed sup­port­ive liv­ing fa­cil­i­ties with four or more res­i­dents.

“Res­i­dent and fam­ily coun­cils play a crucial role in many com­mu­ni­ties, but no con­sis­tent re­quire­ments ex­ist for all Al­berta long-term care and sup­port­ive liv­ing fa­cil­i­ties. We’re work­ing to make life bet­ter for Al­ber­tans by en­sur­ing res­i­dents and their fam­i­lies have op­por­tu­ni­ties to help cre­ate car­ing, sup­port­ive en­vi­ron­ments.”

Sarah Hoff­man, Min­is­ter of Health

The leg­is­la­tion would ap­ply to pub­lic, pri­vate and non-profit long-term care and sup­port­ive liv­ing fa­cil­i­ties. Oper­a­tors would be re­quired to work with coun­cils on qual­ity-of-life con­cerns, such as food, ser­vices and ac­tiv­i­ties.

“Our res­i­dent and fam­ily coun­cil has helped res­i­dents here feel that this is truly their home. As this coun­cil has been meet­ing monthly over the past two years, we’ve been work­ing to­gether to make this an even bet­ter com­mu­nity.”

Doreen Wilson, site ad­min­is­tra­tor, St. Mar­guerite Manor

“As the daugh­ter of a res­i­dent liv­ing in mem­ory care, the coun­cil at St. Mar­guerite Manor has been truly ben­e­fi­cial. Not only am I able to mon­i­tor, in­flu­ence and im­prove the care of my mother and other res­i­dents, I can be con­fi­dent the op­er­a­tor is help­ing res­i­dents meet their needs and de­sires.”

Kate Friesen, par­tic­i­pant in res­i­dent and fam­ily coun­cil, St. Mar­guerite Manor

A toolkit and in­for­ma­tion guide would be de­vel­oped by Al­berta Health in con­sul­ta­tion with res­i­dents, fam­i­lies, and oper­a­tors. Coun­cil mem­bers would have flex­i­bil­ity in de­ter­min­ing roles, when and how fa­cil­ity rep­re­sen­ta­tives should be in­volved and how meet­ings would be struc­tured. In the com­ing weeks and months, the province would also en­gage with peo­ple with de­vel­op­men­tal dis­abil­i­ties, their fam­ily mem­bers and guardians.

“We have heard loud and clear from Al­ber­tans with dis­abil­i­ties – ‘noth­ing about us with­out us.’ As gov­ern­ment, we com­pletely agree that Al­ber­tans should have a voice in these mat­ters and are com­mit­ted to work­ing along­side those with dis­abil­i­ties, their fam­i­lies, dis­abil­ity ad­vo­cates and ser­vice providers. The Res­i­dent and Fam­ily Coun­cils Act of­fers yet an­other op­por­tu­nity to en­sure that voices of Al­ber­tans with dis­abil­i­ties are re­flected in de­ci­sions that af­fect them. In weeks and months ahead, we look for­ward to a ro­bust and col­lab­o­ra­tive con­ver­sa­tion with all con­cerned to get this right.” Ir­fan Sabir, Min­is­ter of Com­mu­nity Ser­vices

“It is im­por­tant for gov­ern­ment to hear di­rectly from Al­ber­tans with dis­abil­i­ties on the is­sues that mat­ter to them. Adults with de­vel­op­men­tal dis­abil­i­ties liv­ing in li­censed fa­cil­i­ties de­serve to have their voices heard and re­spected re­gard­ing fa­cil­ity man­age­ment and op­er­a­tions. Thor­ough con­sul­ta­tion will be an im­por­tant step to en­sure this leg­is­la­tion re­flects the needs of this com­mu­nity.”

Bruce Udit­sky, CEO, In­clu­sion Al­berta

If passed, the leg­is­la­tion would come into ef­fect on April 1, 2018.

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