Nova Scotia elderly care advocates want government to address ‘neglect’ in nursing homes

Nova Scotia elderly care advocates want government to address ‘neglect’ in nursing homes
WATCH ABOVE: A group of advocates held a rally on Tuesday to draw attention to what they say are pervasive problems with long-term care in the province. Global’s Steve Silva reports.

About 10 people took part in a rally in Halifax on Tuesday to draw attention to the “neglect” they say is happening in Nova Scotia nursing homes.

“Nursing homes are underfunded, staff are undertrained, and nursing homes are understaffed,” said Gary MacLeod, chairperson of Advocates for the Care of the Elderly.

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The group organized the rally held in front of Northwood Manor, a continuing-care facility.

READ MORE: Nova Scotia Election: Why health care has become the number one issue

MacLeod said some of the issues in nursing homes in the province include a lack of beds, residents experiencing falls and residents being violent to each other.

He added that residents often face long wait times for meals, and many don’t have necessary assistance to help them eat.

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“Many times, they will just think [the food] is maybe a book because of their dementia,” MacLeod said.

He also noted the $8 million that was cut from long-term care over the years by the province. However, in the Liberals’ 2017-18 budget — which was not passed before the 2017 election was called — $3.2 million was promised to increase the budget for food and recreational programs in long-term care facilities.

“Long-term care has been in a crisis before the $8 million was cut, so we need not only the $8 million, but we need a whole lot more to get it to where it’s supposed to be — and that’s quality care for the elderly,” MacLeod said.

The aim, he added, is to turn the matter into an election issue.