In The News | What is Continuting Care? | Next Steps | For More Information
of our top priorities continues to be improving the quality
of life of young persons with MS who require continuing
care. We know that many people are falling between the
cracks—there aren’t sufficient supports to
allow them to live in their homes with their families,
and the long-term care facilities they find themselves
living in are geared towards meeting the needs of seniors.
In the News
Feature article in the Calgary
Herald about a young woman
with MS who lives in a long term care facility with seniors.
Before Her Time
Two follow-up articles with responses from the Premier and Minister, Health and Wellness
Care Funding under Scrutiny
Care Review Promised
Back To Top
Continuing Care is a system of service delivery, which provides individuals who have chronic health conditions or disabilities, with access to services they need to experience independence and quality living. These services include therapeutic services, personal care services and a range of other services. They may be provided short term or long term. These services are provided in long term care facilities, in community settings, such as supportive living and in a person’s own home. Publicly funded continuing care services are provided by or contracted to regional health authorities.
There are three streams:
The primary housing option for persons who are able to live independently and with minimal support services. In order to support continued independent living, basic Home Care services may be provided and/or the individual can purchase services from an another agency.
This is both a philosophy and an approach for providing services within a housing environment. It provides a residential setting where people can maintain control over their lives while also receiving the support they need. Examples are: personal care homes and Designated Assisted Living.
Long term care facilities provide a range of care services including professional services such as nursing services, personal services, life enrichment, as well as accommodations and meals. Residents in long term care facilities typically require access to unscheduled 24 hour professional nursing services.
Continuing Care Update
The Alberta & Northwest Territories Division has continued to work hard on improving quality of life for persons living with MS particularly young individuals (18-64) who rely on the continuing care system.
What have we achieved to date?
- The MS Society is exploring current models of accommodation and health care services for young adults in supportive and facility living. The MS Society staff visited Bethany Care Society’s Collegeside in Red Deer. The long term care facility has a dedicated wing for young adults with age and disability appropriate programs. The MS Society will continue to visit other sites to review programs and services.
- The ADF was invited to submit three funding proposals to the Minister, Health and Wellness to address issues within continuing care. The proposals include: funding for a family caregiver respite program, funding for an age and disability appropriate health services and accommodations (young adult long term care wings) research project and funding for a thorough review of the Health Care Services standards.
- Through the Alberta Disabilities Forum (ADF) we are part of a joint committee with the Continuing Care Leaders Council. The Collaborative Committee is dedicated to improving health services and accommodations for people with disabilities.
To view what we've achieved to date in full, please click on the plus sign
Met with the Assistant Deputy Minister (ADM) with Seniors and Community Supports and the Director, Alberta Aids to Daily Living (AADL) to discuss disability supports including equipment, transportation and income supports for people with disabilities. For individuals to be independent they must have access to necessary disability supports.
The MS Society launched the MS Ambassador program and one of the first issues that the Ambassadors dealt with was continuing care. MS Society staff and MS Ambassadors met with MLAs and Ministers across the province to educate them about continuing care issues and the impact on young adults with disabilities. For the most part MLAs were very supportive of our recommendations for improving service and accommodations.
The Minister, Health and Wellness announced the removal of the $3000 monthly Home Care ceiling. The removal of the ceiling should assist more individuals with disabilities to stay in the community because they should be able to access more services through Home Care if they have higher needs. The labour shortage is impeding this positive step made by the Alberta Government. Unfortunately there are not enough health care aides to meet the needs of clients in the community. The labour issue is a top priority for government and steps are being taken to address the shortages. The MS Society in partnership with other disability organizations continues to monitor and advocate for improvements in this area.
Developed Choice in Care and Accommodation – Issues Priorities and a summary document that have identified the priorities for young adults with disabilities. Developed Voices and Choices in Accommodations and Care document that outlines the particular issues that young persons face when in the continuing care system. The documents have been endorsed by the Alberta Disabilities Forum (ADF), a coalition of 40 disability organizations across the province.
Presented to the Continuing Care Leaders Council which is represented by the Chief Operating Officers from the 9 health regions throughout Alberta. This council has the coordinating responsibility to implement the recommendations from the MLA Task Force report entitled, Achieving Excellence in Continuing Care. At that presentation we emphasized our desire to work collaboratively to find solutions to the issues faced by special populations who rely on continuing care services.
Participated in a tour of supportive living options in Edmonton.
Met with the Office for Disability Issues, Alberta Health and Wellness, and Seniors and Community Supports. These Ministries are aware of our efforts to influence improvements to continuing care including monitoring the implementation of the Continuing Care Services and Accommodation Standards that are currently being developed in response to the MLA Task Force recommendations.
An individual with MS who lives in a long term care facility and is a member of the Division Government & Community Relations Committee was appointed to the Accommodation & Services Implementation Steering Committee and the working groups. The committee reviewed and updated the provincial Continuing Care Accommodation Standards.
A senior staff member has been appointed to sit on the new Northern Alberta Steering Committee on the integration of MS services. This committee is responsible for linking and coordinating all MS programs and services in the Capital health region.
Back To Top
- If the funding proposals that were submitted to Alberta Health and Wellness are approved the MS Society through the ADF will be involved in implementing the respite program, conducting research on age and disability appropriate health services and accommodations for young adults with disabilities and reviewing the health standards.
- The MS Society through the ADF will co-chair the ADF and CCLC Collaborative Committee. The committee will continue to work on the issues identified in the Choices in Accommodation and Care documents.
- The MS Society in collaboration with the ADF will continue to meet with senior staff and elected officials to address gaps and improve disability support services including AADL, RAMP, AISH and affordable and accessible transportation.
Back To Top
response to a request from Alberta Health and Wellness, the
MS Society, in collaboration with the Alberta Disabilities
Forum (ADF), developed a submission that identifies and prioritizes
the issues that affect special populations within continuing
care, suggestions for improvements and where possible cross
references the new Health and Accommodation Standard Services.
The summary and the full document are available in PDF format:
MS Society, on behalf of the Alberta Disabilities Forum (ADF),
made a presentation to the Continuing Care Leaders
Council. The following is a summary of the presentation.
you would like more information about the new Health and
Accommodation Services Standards please visit www.continuingcare.gov.ab.ca.
more information, contact:
Julie Kelndorfer, Director, Government & Community
Back To Top