Heritage Square, Kaigo Senior Living Group (Laryn Gilmour/Black Press Media)

Okanagan senior feels trapped in long-term care facility

Rose-Marie Lepodvin says she wants assisted living, but feels trapped in long-term care

A Vernon senior feels she is being wrongfully denied the care she wants from a local senior home.

Rose-Marie LePoidvin is living in long-term care at Heritage Square in Vernon and she says she feels trapped.

“I keep asking to move upstairs to assisted-living where the senior residents have apartments and have more freedom but I am told I’m not ready and need more time to be assessed before being able to go upstairs,” LePoidvin said.

Heritage Square’s long-term care is located on the lower floor and has 24 publicly subsidized beds and two, two-bedroom suites in their privately-owned assisted-living sector located upstairs.

READ MORE: New affordable homes now available to Peachland seniors

An Interior Health (IH) spokesperson said there is a process individuals must go through before entering a long-term care facility.

“We can’t speak specifically about any individual, but the process for entering long-term care is an assessment by an Interior Health community-care nurse to determine if a person requires assisted living, long-term care or home support,” IH spokesperson Susan Duncan said.

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LePoidvin said she was initially assessed after she broke her hip 10 months ago and was admitted into long-term care.

“I am better now,” she said. “I walk around, I get my own coffee, I can go outside. My mobility isn’t as restraining as it was before.”

But she says she has been told multiple times she is not ready to move up.

“I feel like I’m here to die and I’m not ready to yet. My grandchildren put me in the facility after my injury and I don’t get visitors, no one here even asks me how I’m feeling,” LePoidvin said.

LePoidvin’s daughter Debra LePoidvin claims her mothers last name is Sabian and Interior health put her into a care home because of her broken hip and it wasn’t the grandchildren’s doing.

“I couldn’t take care of her at home and that is why she was place by Interior Health in Heritage Square. She is 100 per cent able to leave Heritage Square and has access to her money. She can’t be in assisted living because she can’t manage her medication without help,” said Rose-Marie’s granddaughter Michelle Fletcher.

READ MORE: Restrictive policies affecting labour mobility for care aides in B.C.

She says she understands the care-aids are busy and have a lot of people to tend to, but she wants people to understand how senior homes work before putting your elderly family into one.

“I can’t speak for how other seniors are feeling, but for me, I feel like I have no voice and am trapped here,” LePoidvin said.

Interior Health said if an individual in long-term care shows signs of improvement in their health, they do have a chance to be reassessed.

“Sometimes people who are admitted to long-term care will receive full care including regular meals, appropriate medication and experience an improvement in their health. At that point, they may need to be reassessed for a different level of care,” Duncan said.

READ MORE: Police probe senior’s death at Kelowna care home

She said individuals are able to bring concerns to the manager of the facility and their family doctor and request reassessment if they want to move from long-term care to assisted living.

Long-term care seniors could be eligible for subsidized living but would need to go through the assessment process, which can be found on Interiors Health’s website.


@LarynGilmour
laryn.gilmour@blackpress.ca

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