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ASCHA Weekly Rollout
Highlights of this Issue:

  • Life Safety Meeting
  • Alberta Association of Municipal Districts and Counties (AAMD&C)
  • National Housing Day Luncheon

Issue:  #47,   11/24/2014

Home » Media


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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