Thanks so much to Kathy Sanford, one of the nurses at the Lodge who invited me.
I also had a chance to speak to with Krista Beeler who was very gracious in telling me more about the home. She also shared with me a copy of the recommendations from the "Minister's Expert Advisory Panel on Long Term Care" in Nova Scotia, which came out in 2018. One of the conclusions of the report is that care for residents of long-term care facilities is suffering because the nurses and others regularly work short staffed, which leads to additional work responsibilities and high rates of stress and illness. Unfilled vacancies and difficulties attracting new talent are areas the panel said need to be addressed in the short term.
Perhaps even more alarming, in the last five years not one new single nursing home bed has been created in this province. NDP leader Gary Burrill has accused the McNeil government of "a general failure" to understand the urgent need for more long-term care beds in the province.
Of course, the shortages of staff and long-term care beds is part-and-parcel of the ongoing health care crisis Nova Scotians have had to endure under the McNeil government.
And while health care is a provincial responsibility, the challenges plaguing our long-term care facilities must also be seen in light of the explosion in Canada's senior population. This is a national issue and more must be done at the federal level to help the provinces cope with the increase demand for health care and long-term care for the rapidly-expanding number of seniors needing care at home and in facilities like Dykleland Lodge.
Gabrielle Trillis (Director of Nursing) at the Dykland Lodge on June 8