LETTER – Privately-owned long-term care facilities take care of themselves first, clients later

Dear editor,

I read with disbelief the letter from Jennie Deneka on Nov. 28 appealing for dialogue based on the facts with regard to Comox Valley Seniors Village (CVSV) (Comox Valley Seniors Village management company responds to letter)

Ms. Deneka is COO of the company which is contracted by the owner, Anbang (through its Canadian subsidiary Cedar Tree) to operate 23 Retirement Concepts seniors’ homes including CVSV and Nanaimo Seniors Village.

FACT: CVSV was put under VIHA administration on Sept. 30 because the Medical Health Officer determined that “the Licensee is either unwilling or unable to meet the minimal requirements of the Community Care and Assisted Living Act and the expected standard as per s.7(1)(b)(i) to ensure the health, safety and dignity of persons in care is not being met.” Nanaimo Seniors’ Village was similarly put under VIHA administration on Nov. 27.

Ms. Deneka says “we reached out to the Island Health for assistance.”

This is not true. VIHA acted only after months of family members’ complaints to licensing, investigations, compliance orders and the failure of the operator to comply.

FACT: The Province, through the health authorities, is the largest provider of long-term care in the province, with 111 facilities, not Retirement Concepts with its 23 facilities.

FACT: The reason staff recruitment is especially tough at CVSV is that CVSV pays its staff considerably less than the three other long term care facilities in the Comox Valley, all not-for-profit.

FACT: All long-term care facilities operate with public funds. From every public dollar provided to a non-profit facility, 100 cents are used for operations. From every public dollar that goes to CVSV, the amount that is available for operations is what is left over after first Anbang and then Ms. Deneka’s company has taken its share.

This arrangement is not compatible with the health, safety and dignity of persons in care.

Barb Biley,

Courtenay

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