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ASCHA Weekly Rollout
Highlights of this Issue:

  • Alberta Seniors Annual Report
  • Cross Ministry Legal and Financial Working Group
  • Home Care Collaborative Working Group

Issue:  #27,   7/6/2015

Home » Media


 

Media Release
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Seniors Housing Association Celebrates 50 Years of Serving Alberta’s Seniors

Apr.14, 2015

The Alberta Senior Citizens’ Housing Association (ASCHA) celebrates its 50th Anniversary at the 2015 ASCHA Convention & Tradeshow on April 15 – 17 at the Shaw Conference Centre in Edmonton. For over half a century, ASCHA members have welcomed and provided housing to over a quarter of a million Albertans in independent and supportive living settings. They have approximately provided over 70 million meals and 2.2 million life enrichment activities. Seniors housing providers are at the front lines ensuring Alberta’s seniors are safe, secure and age well in their communities. This is a celebration of their history, their successes and the important work they do for seniors.

The 2015 ASCHA Convention & Tradeshow will be the largest gathering of seniors housing leaders in Western Canada. Public, voluntary and private providers will be in attendance to plan the future of seniors housing in Alberta, and to prepare for the next generation of seniors – a demographic that will soon represent over 20% over Alberta’s total population.

The event boasts a rich program: an Insight Panel featuring two leading experts in seniors housing trends and Brock Carlton from the Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM); a keynote on moving beyond change to transformation from Kevin Gangel and Vik Maraj, and a Resident and Family Panel hosted by Daryl McIntyre of CTV News Edmonton where providers can engage in a thoughtful discussion on the future of seniors housing with the residents themselves. The ASCHA Tradeshow is an extremely important part of this event, with over eighty of the very best companies that provide supporting products and services to seniors housing providers.

On Friday, April 17 at 10:30 am, Alberta’s political party leaders have been invited to share their vision for seniors and seniors housing with the 300 housing provider representatives in attendance. As it is the providers who will ultimately deliver the vision of the elected government, it is important to hear the differing views of the parties and for the industry, in turn, to assist each party in understanding front-line realities so that we can all work together to enhance the living experience of our seniors.

Though this event will be closed to the public, media personnel are invited to attend any of the sessions for the purpose of news coverage.

About ASCHA

For 50 years the Alberta Senior Citizens’ Housing Association (ASCHA) has championed the seniors housing industry by supporting our members in creating and maintaining vibrant seniors housing for Albertans. ASCHA members provide housing to over 30,000 seniors across the province. This includes the full spectrum of seniors housing options including independent living, supportive living and designated supportive living choices offered by all sectors (voluntary, public and private).

For immediate information contact:
Irene Martin-Lindsay, Executive Director
Phone: 780.439.6473  Cell: 780.906.7585
Email: irene@ascha.com

Doug Mills, ASCHA President
Cell: 780.982.2848

 



 

Media Release
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Focus Should Be On Quality of Care, Regardless of Ownership Type, in Continuing Care Sector

Mar. 24, 2015

Public Interest Alberta (PIA), an advocacy group, is raising questions about the profit margins in privately operated seniors’ facilities in Alberta. The providers also received grant funding under Alberta’s Affordable Supportive Living Initiative (ASLI). All ASLI applications include budgets which may not reflect reality and will not include all expenses (building amortization, mortgage principle repayment, etc.)

As the article indicates, Jenny Renner, Alberta Seniors’ spokeswoman, said “a proponent receives the same level of funding and must meet the same standards and requirements, regardless of whether they are a non-profit, private or faith-based operator.”

In January of 2015, the Health Quality Council of Alberta (HQCA) released two reports that address continuing care in Alberta from the perspective of residents and their families. The Reports titled Supportive Living Residents & Family Experience indicate that “facility ownership (whether a facility is owned by Alberta Health Services, or a private or voluntary organization) did not have any influence on resident and family experiences.”

Contracted service providers, whether they are for profit or not for profit, make significant investments into continuing care (housing and support services) operations and should have a return on investment. They offer operational efficiency and creativity that leads to a sustainable industry. The reality is that all private, public, and voluntary organizations contracted with Alberta Health Services are funded the same and have to comply with the same accountabilities. “More important is the conversation that the continuing care sector in Alberta has long been neglected,” says Tammy Leach, CEO of the Alberta Continuing Care Association (ACCA). Alberta’s continuing care sector is funded 19% less than the national average, while Alberta’s acute care system is funded 33% higher than the national average. “Alberta needs to rebalance the funding scale.”

“Regardless of ownership structure, there needs to be a shift in our focus to support innovative strategy aimed at improving the quality and accessibility of housing, services and care received by seniors and persons with disabilities. Continuing Care operations (Home Care, Supportive Living and Long Term Care) must be funded equitability and sufficiently across the province to ensure Albertans receive excellent housing and care, when and where they need it,” says Irene Martin-Lindsay, Executive Director, ASCHA.

About ASCHA
For 50 years the Alberta Senior Citizens’ Housing Association (ASCHA) has championed the seniors housing industry by supporting our members in creating and maintaining vibrant seniors housing for Albertans. ASCHA members provide housing to over 30,000 seniors across the province. This includes the full spectrum of seniors housing options including independent living, supportive living and designated supportive living choices offered by all sectors (voluntary, public and private).

For immediate information contact:
Irene Martin-Lindsay, Executive Director
Phone: 780.439.6473  Cell: 780.906.7585
Email: irene@ascha.com

Doug Mills, ASCHA President
Cell: 780.982.2848

 



 

Media Release
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Seniors’ Safety Remains Top Priority

Mar. 10, 2015

The Alberta Government announced today that 75 government-owned and supportive living seniors’ lodges as well as 30 continuing care units will receive fire safety upgrades over the next three years. The announcement is a positive demonstration of the Alberta government’s commitment to protecting the province’s most vulnerable citizens. "Public Housing Management Bodies across Alberta will be very happy with this announcement for improvements to their lodges, and we are pleased to see that continuing care buildings are being addressed as well," says Doug Mills, ASCHA President.

ASCHA has been working with the Ministry of Seniors, Housing Division and ASCHA members on recommendations for fire safety upgrades and risk mitigation strategies. "This has been a fruitful collaborative effort and we are grateful for the opportunity to lend our industry expertise and provide some frontline input into this process," Mills explains.

ASCHA is also undertaking to develop and implement education and best practices that will enhance the capacity of housing providers and community partners to identify and respond to fire risks. In addition to sprinklering and fire safety system upgrades, these next steps are essential to maintaining safety practices onsite.

"ASCHA is very pleased that, despite the Province's budget constraints, seniors’ safety remains a top priority," Mills continues. With strategies and funding in place, seniors can rest a little easier across the province.

About ASCHA

For 50 years the Alberta Senior Citizens’ Housing Association (ASCHA) has championed the seniors housing industry by supporting our members in creating and maintaining vibrant seniors housing for Albertans. ASCHA members provide housing to over 30,000 seniors across the province. This includes the full spectrum of seniors housing options including independent living, supportive living and designated supportive living choices offered by all sectors (voluntary, public and private).

For immediate information contact:
Irene Martin-Lindsay, Executive Director
Phone: 780.439.6473  Cell: 780.906.7585
Email: irene@ascha.com

Doug Mills, ASCHA President
Cell: 780.982.2848

 

Government of Alberta Media Release

ASCHA - Media Release



Media Release
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

HQCA - Designated Supportive Living Resident and Family Survey Results

Jan. 28, 2015

The Health Quality Council of Alberta (HQCA) today released the first ever Provincial Resident and Family survey results conducted to capture observations and experiences with the care and services residents receive at Designated Supportive Living (DSL) level 3 & 4 sites.

“All Designated Supportive Living (DSL) level 3 & 4 sites now have a provincial baseline of experiences and observations against which to measure future outcomes. These benchmarks are an important measure and will provide guidance for improving the quality of life for residents and family members. Although each site will have unique areas for improvement, the results allow them to focus on the areas identified through the survey to become more person-centred. It will also allow comparison between their site and others,” Doug Mills, President of ASCHA explains.

 The good news of the survey results, contrary to popular belief, includes the following highlights:

  • site ownership (public, voluntary, private) has no influence on resident or family experience

  • an average of 90% of families and residents would recommend their current site to others

  • general satisfaction achieved an 85.2 % rating

 The opportunities for improvement consistent with industry experience, includes these highlights:

  • 29% of the comments made by families were concerns about understaffing and the resulting availability of staff to assist their loved ones

  • food quality and the entire dining experience achieved a 79.9% rating

  • facility environment e.g. location, snow removal, security of belongings, safety and security

 It is important that we recognize the outstanding work taking place in seniors housing. Great strides have been made in collaboration between the Government of Alberta, Alberta Health Services and other stakeholders in ensuring that aging in community is person-centred.  This is a work in progress. It must be recognized that frequent negatively weighted attention creates confusion and fear in the very population that most need the services of Designated Supportive Living. 

“The decision to move to a supportive living centre is often stressful for both the resident and their family. Choices informed by this provincial representation of quality of care and services will go a long way to allay the fears of residents,” Doug Mills explains.

About ASCHA

For nearly 50 years the Alberta Senior Citizens’ Housing Association (ASCHA) has championed the seniors housing industry by supporting our members in creating and maintaining vibrant seniors housing for Albertans. ASCHA members provide housing to over 30,000 seniors across the province. This includes the full spectrum of seniors housing options including independent living, supportive living and designated supportive living choices offered by all sectors (voluntary, public and private).

For immediate information contact:
Irene Martin-Lindsay, Executive Director
Phone: 780.439.6473  Cell: 780.906.7585
Email: irene@ascha.com

Doug Mills, ASCHA President
Cell: 780.982.2848

ASCHA Media Release

HQCA Media Release



Media Release
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Funding Will Enhance Fire Safety in Seniors Residences

Oct.  29, 2014

“While all seniors residences comply to the code of the time they were constructed, with buildings built after 1997 meeting or exceeding current standards, older buildings can now afford to upgrade with this funding announcement,” Doug Mills, President of ASCHA explains.

The safety and health of seniors living in ASCHA communities have always been members’ primary focus. Fire safety strategies and evacuation plans are in place and have been approved by local fire departments for licensing purposes, but upgrading would be an excellent safety enhancement. To date, retrofitting has been cost prohibitive, especially for buildings that offer affordable solutions for seniors. “Benevolent and affordable housing organizations require funding in addition to any rental income to cover major capital expenses,” Doug Mills explains.

The tragic fire at a Quebec seniors’ residence earlier this year highlighted the need for improved fire safety across Canada. The focus since this incident has been on “care” facilities which all have 24 hour supports and a larger number of staff on site. However, the L’Isle Verte fire occurred in independent living, where little services are required by residents and fewer staff members are needed on site. Independent and home living are common choices for seniors, but like any ordinary home, they are without sprinklers and fire prevention systems. An effective fire safety strategy requires more than just retrofitting to mitigate loss of life risks. Elements being evaluated include communication systems, sprinklers and staffing. Retrofit projects should also be planned accordingly so that residents are not displaced and their comfort is assured.

“ASCHA and its members appreciate this support and commend the Alberta Government for being one of three provinces to take action on fire safety in seniors and affordable housing. We look forward to working with the government and members through the self-assessment process, where higher risk buildings will be identified and necessary upgrades implemented” says Mills.

About ASCHA

For nearly 50 years the Alberta Senior Citizens’ Housing Association (ASCHA) has championed the seniors housing industry by supporting our members in creating and maintaining vibrant seniors housing for Albertans. ASCHA members provide housing to approximately 30,000 seniors across the province. This includes the full spectrum of seniors housing options including independent living, supportive living and designated supportive living choices offered by all sectors (voluntary, public and private).

For Immediate information contact:

Irene Martin-Lindsay, Executive Director
Phone: 780.439.6473 Cell: 780.906.7585
Email: irene@ascha.com

Doug Mills, ASCHA President
Cell: 780.982.2848



Media Release
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Demand for seniors housing and care recognized

Oct.  21, 2014

“We greatly appreciate the substantial investments to meeting the seniors housing and care demands in Alberta’s communities” expressed Doug Mills, ASCHA President. Accommodation rates and health service funding is provincially regulated for all sectors, so capital investment from the province is essential for sustainability in creating appropriate living spaces.  “I am most pleased that Premier Jim Prentice and Honourable Jeff Johnson, Minister of Seniors, have demonstrated tremendous willingness to collaborate with ASCHA, as our members are the ones who make it all happen at the front lines. This will help us work together to increase home care and address the important operational issues current supportive living providers are experiencing; the key is to focus on what’s best for those we serve” says Mills.

ASCHA members have plans for all types of seniors housing options, from independent living to supportive living and understand that the current focus of the Affordable Supportive Living Initiative (ASLI) has been placed on those who require higher levels of health services including Designated Supportive Living (DSL) and Long Term Care (LTC), as part of the continuing care spectrum. ASCHA will continue to work with government to address the infrastructure needs required for seniors to age well in community and embrace person-centred housing. Person-centered housing is the philosophy of honouring the individual’s needs, desires and choices to maintain a wholesome, vibrant lifestyle in congregate living settings.

The recently announced Request For Proposals (RFP) is open to all communities, and the government has advised that they will work with existing providers in higher-need communities. This progressive action is going to achieve the most meaningful result, which is housing that keeps pace with the changing needs of Alberta’s aging population. “Having a Premier who is passionate about caring for an aging population as a result of a personal experience will serve Albertans well”, says Mills.

About ASCHA

For nearly 50 years the Alberta Senior Citizens’ Housing Association (ASCHA) has championed the seniors housing industry by supporting our members in creating and maintaining vibrant seniors housing for Albertans. ASCHA members provide housing to approximately 30,000 seniors across the province. This includes the full spectrum of seniors housing options including independent living, supportive living and designated supportive living choices offered by all sectors (voluntary, public and private).

For Immediate information contact:

Irene Martin-Lindsay, Executive Director
Phone: 780.439.6473 Cell: 780.906.7585
Email: irene@ascha.com

Doug Mills, ASCHA President
Cell: 780.982.2848


Information about the Affordable Supportive Living Initiative (ASLI) grant funding, and application process can be found at: 
http://www.health.alberta.ca/services/supportive-living-ASLI-grants.html

 



Media Release
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Home Care Contracts
Call for reconsideration for integrated, efficient and effective home care delivered by on-site staff in Supportive Living

June 17, 2013

Recent news regarding the re-allocation of Home Care Contracts to external providers causes great concern to the Alberta Senior Citizens’ Housing Association (ASCHA) and its members.  Many of our members, the owners and operators of seniors housing, have lost their Home Care Contracts. This has happened despite the fact that home care services delivered by on-site staff in congregate living has proven to be more effective in meeting the person’s needs, be of higher quality, and more cost effective and efficient than providing these services by an external party. 

Our impacted members have to lay off employees, many with a decade or more of service, while continuing to be responsible for the day to day well-being of the residents.  Organizations will lose their direct connection to the residents’ day to day health needs.   Many housing operators also have integrated operations where staff assists in other operational areas, providing holistic services to the resident, efficient processes to the organization, and full time work for the staff.

“Sadly, in the future trained staff will no longer be on site to take care of unexpected incidents and unscheduled needs” states Doug Mills, ASCHA President.  “Going back to calling 911 for such situations doesn’t make sense and is not person-centered”.  Background information is attached that shows the current situation and impacts to residents in future if this decision is not reconsidered.

While ASCHA recognizes that the Request for Proposal process for Home Care Contracts was intended to be fair and transparent, it has not been handled consistently throughout Alberta.  Integrated sites in Calgary did not have to submit an RFP to retain their Home Care contracts, Edmonton sites did. 

“On behalf of Alberta’s seniors and our members, I urge Alberta Health Services (AHS) to give reconsideration to the benefits of integrated services”, expresses Mills.  “Supportive living providers who are currently in a contract with AHS to provide Designated Supportive Living (DSL) should continue to provide site-based home care services to their residents.”

About ASCHA
The Alberta Senior Citizens’ Housing Association (ASCHA) champions the seniors housing industry and supports our members in creating and maintaining vibrant seniors housing for Albertans. ASCHA members provide housing to approximately 30,000 seniors across the province. This includes the full spectrum of seniors housing options including independent living and supportive living choices offered by all sectors (voluntary, public and private). www.ascha.com

For Immediate information contact:

Irene Martin, Executive Director
Phone: 780.439.6473 Cell: 780.906.7585
Email: irene@ascha.com

ASCHA Background Information

Doug Mills, ASCHA President
Cell: 780.982.2848



Media Release
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

A role for all sectors
in seniors housing

Nov. 13, 2013

The new Parkland Institute report released last week regarding the quality of residential elder care in Alberta acknowledges that the findings are not new and do not reflect the most recent funding changes.  “The truth is, the private, public and voluntary sectors are all funded the same number of hours of care per resident and are all accountable for those staffing hours.  It will take all sectors to continue to build the vibrant, caring seniors communities that Alberta seniors want and deserve” expresses Doug Mills, ASCHA President.

The shift to supportive living has been taking place since 1999 due to a vocalized preference from Alberta’s seniors.  Residential options provide hospitality, wellness and a restorative focus rather than limiting services within a medical model.  There is a role for private, voluntary and public housing, driven by the choice of individuals; it would be remiss to believe that all individuals would want or need the same type of living option. 

We acknowledge that there are myriad complex issues that are real and difficult to summarize in general overarching statements.  The challenges are systemic and include funding, access, assessments, care-culture, etc.; these are the REAL issues that are evident across ALL sectors.  “Tremendous work is being done by multiple stakeholders including government, associations, end users and their families to achieve positive outcomes and increase quality care for Alberta’s elders” states Doug Mills. 

Person-centered housing is the ideal philosophy of honouring the individual’s needs, desires and choices to maintain a wholesome, vibrant lifestyle in congregate living settings, which is what the shift to supportive living is accomplishing.  “We urge all Albertans to focus on a common strategy for innovation that improves quality, efficiency and accessibility of residential care for seniors rather than focusing on ownership structures” says Mills.

About ASCHA
The Alberta Senior Citizens’ Housing Association (ASCHA) champions the seniors housing industry and supports our members in creating and maintaining vibrant seniors housing for Albertans. ASCHA members provide housing to approximately 30,000 seniors across the province. This includes the full spectrum of seniors housing options including independent living and supportive living choices offered by all sectors (voluntary, public and private). www.ascha.com

For Immediate information contact:

Irene Martin, Executive Director
Phone: 780.439.6473 Cell: 780.906.7585
Email: irene@ascha.com

ASCHA Background Information

Doug Mills, ASCHA President
Cell: 780.982.2848




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