The Good Samaritan Society, a Lutheran Social Service Organization, is a not-for-profit, registered charity with over 65 years of experience providing specialized health and community care services in innovative and caring environments.
Since the Long Term Care Family Experience Survey was conducted by the Health Quality Council of Alberta, The Good Samaritan Society (GSS) has made significant improvements in many of the areas that are highlighted in your story.
On October 16, 2014, I wrote to Alberta Health Services (AHS) expressing my concerns with historical funding shortfalls at the Mill Woods Care Centre, and requested additional funding to deal with our residents’ unique needs. I am happy to report that we have recently been approved for an additional $400,000, which will mean additional full time staff at the front lines. We want to make the most out of the funding that we receive, either from our partners at AHS or through donations, which is why we have mandated that 95 cents of every dollar in revenue received goes towards the delivery of direct care and accommodation services – to front line care.
Regarding the ability to meet our residents’ basic needs, since this survey was completed, and as part of our continuous improvement, we have taken several concrete steps. In order to ensure that we are delivering quality care and quality accommodations to our residents, in the last year we have spent over $700,000 at the Centre to:
When interpreting the results for the Mill Woods Care Centre, it is important to note that our resident population is unique compared too many other long term care homes in the province; the majority of individuals at the Centre are not seniors. After interactions with our residents and families at the home, we increased the number of recreation programs that are offered. As well, we are bringing a volunteer coordinator on site to assist with recreation for the residents.
Recently, our organization went through the Accreditation Canada survey process, and I am proud to say that we did very well; we received a ranking of 98.3 per cent, which resulted in a 4 year Accreditation with Commendation. Mill Woods Care Centre was one of our GSS homes that was a major part of this process, and throughout it, I could see how dedicated our staff are to making the Centre a wonderful place for our residents to call home.
As was mentioned in your article, sometimes we are no longer able to meet the level of care that a resident requires. Being a responsible organization, we work with the resident’s physician to determine the level of care they need, and the physician determines if they can continue to reside in our home. Unfortunately, that means that we sometimes have to discharge a resident, and they have to go to another care provider. We want what is best for our residents, and if that means that we are no longer able to manage their level of acuity, we work with AHS to help them find a new home.
While we have done a lot of work to improve the quality of care and accommodations at the Mill Woods Care Centre, and all of our homes across Alberta and British Columbia, continuing to improve is a top priority for us and something we will never stop pursuing. As always, our staff and leadership team are available to discuss and address any concerns that residents and their families might have.
In the coming weeks, we will be reviewing the HQCA Survey in more detail, and are committed to addressing the concerns expressed by the families who trust us to care for their loved ones.
Shawn Terlson, BA, CMA, CHE President and CEO The Good Samaritan Society