The New Brunswick Association of Nursing Homes is setting the record straight after the release of a damning report on the long-term care system by the Nurses Union.
The report The Forgotten Generation paints a grim picture of the situation in nursing homes where nurses are exhausted and basic care not systematically provided.
The executive director of the province’s association of nonprofit nursing homes, Jodi Hall, however, has several reservations about “a number of disturbing findings” contained in the document released Thursday.
Ms Hall says, in particular, that parts of the report are based on “information from other provinces or the United States” or on old reports.
“There is no evidence that residents and staff live and work in deeply disturbing situations,” she says.
“It is unfortunate that the release of this report came at a time when nursing home management and staff are doing an extraordinary job amid an unprecedented situation such as a pandemic.”
Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, there have been outbreaks in three special care homes in New Brunswick.
These establishments generally serve clients with less important needs than those who live in conventional nursing homes.
In its report, the Nurses Union states that 73% of its members who work in nursing homes have observed a decrease in the quality of care offered to residents over the past three to five years.
The majority of nurses also say that certain tasks such as hygiene care, exercise and passing on information to the families of residents are sometimes not carried out due to a lack of time and staff.
According to the Nursing Home Association, “a lot of work has been done in recruiting and retaining staff” over the past three years.
The organization also refutes the union’s claim that establishments are not transparent enough and are not subject to sufficient inspection.
“Nursing homes are highly regulated by the government which carries out regular inspections,” says Jodi Hall.
The association does not, however, reject the union’s report as a whole.
The organization agrees in particular with “the increase in hours of care, recruitment and retention initiatives, and the fact that the care needs of residents have increased over the past two decades,” he says. The union calls on the provincial government to reduce the daily number of hours of care per patient from 2.89 hours to 4.1 hours, including 45 minutes with a nurse.
Ms. Hall suggests that families of residents who have concerns after learning about the contents of this report contact her association, the Department of Social Development or officials at the facility where their loved ones live.