June 18th, 2014 ~ Vol. 84 No. 24
More continuing care beds coming
Crowsnest Pass Herald Front Page
Pass Herald Reporter
Representatives from the Health Advisory Council are saying the Pass will be getting 65 additional Continuing Care Services spaces within the next two years.
Alberta Health Services (AHS) identified the need for the additional supported living beds based on population and demographic projections.
Making the announcement to council on June 10 was Sean Chilton, chief zone officer of the South Zone. He says the operating dollars to expand Continuing Care Services in the Pass should be secured by the end of the 2015 fiscal year.
There are approximately 50 continuing care beds now in the Pass. There is also supported living level three offered at the York Creek Lodge, said Chilton.
Chilton says the AHS will contract out the expansion, unless an existing facility already has the capacity for the additional beds. The job will be handed out after a competitive bidding process.
“We’d look at the available providers ability to expand their current capacity,” says Chilton. “We’d look at our own infrastructure and then decide on a best option.”
“It’s not always advisable to put all 65 with one provider,” he added.
The Pass does not have a representative on the Health Advisory Council, which is one of 12 such councils across the province.
Barbara Lacey, Chair of the Health Advisory Committee, says their purpose is to advise Alberta Health on issues that arise in their respective regions and they also work with local administrators.
Recently, they’ve been working on an advanced care package to be used by patients nearing the end of their lives. The packages deal with issues of power of attorney, personal wishes and treatment goals for the end of life. The patient can take the package to the hospital and it gives them continuity of care, said Lacey.
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Continuing Care Services provides long-term residential care for people who can no longer live at home or in an assisted living centre.

Transportation to medical facilities
Councillor Bill Kovach asked the representatives from the Health Advisory Council about transportation services for the infirm.
“We get so many people who are referred to specialists in Calgary, but they can’t get there… They can’t drive anymore,” said Kovach.
Chilton explained that AHS is responsible for these services and offer a non-ambulance transfer van in some communities for individuals who need to travel long distances for appointments but don’t require an ambulance.
The van is staffed by emergency medical responders and equipment and is less of a drain on resources than an ambulance, Chilton said.
He says Coaldale has also approached them regarding this same issue.
“It’s still very early,” says Chilton. “But we’ve certainly had those conversations and we’re certainly willing to work with communities to see if we can support this.”
Lacey added that there are private sector opportunities for these services. There is a service being run out of Lethbridge, which provides a ride to Calgary and back for about $90.
“They drop you door to door. So it’s ideal for seniors who can’t drive,” she said.

Patients saying hospital food is subpar
Councillor Marlene Anctil asked if the Health Advisory Committee could do anything about the food being served to patients at Crowsnest Pass Health Centre.
“We have an issue at the hospital here,” said Anctil. “Patients are saying the meals are not the greatest.”
Chilton replied that food services do not fall under his jurisdiction but added that he’d be happy to investigate this issue.
The Health Advisory Committee will be back in the Pass for a general meeting in September.
June 18th ~ Vol. 84 No. 24
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