Consultation Paper: Civil Rights in Saskatchewan Long-term Care Facilities
There is little doubt that abuse is a potential problem in long-term care facilities. Studies across Canada have shown that abuse occurs, and that active measures are necessary to control it. Saskatchewan long-term care facilities are aware of abuse issues. Almost all have protocols to deal with abuse, and most have educational programs to familiarize staff with the problem of abuse. It is not the purpose of this paper to review these efforts in detail. The focus is, rather, on violations of the rights of residents, particularly when they do not involve physical abuse, and particularly when they may not be effectively addressed by existing protocols designed to deal with more blatant forms of abuse.
Law Reform Commission of Saskatchewan
The purpose of this paper is to encourage discussion, and to solicit input from members of the community. The Commission hopes that respondents will assist it in clarifying civil rights concerns in long-term care, and help it to articulate appropriate steps which should be taken to ensure protection of civil rights of residents.
The issues and question raised in this paper are difficult. They are also important enough to warrant our collective attention. We should, through the long-term care system we create, provide the highest quality of life that we can for residents. Compassionate and caring long-term care homes and their staff, as well as residents and their families, are well served when we provide appropriate structures for enunciating and safeguarding the civil rights of residents in long-term care.
1. Are protections for the civil rights of residents in long-term care (special care and personal care homes) adequate at present?
2. Should a residents’ bill of rights be required for all long-term care homes? If so, should it be legislated, or should each facility be required to adopt its own bill of rights?
3. Should investigation of complaints of abuse (including violations of civil rights) be mandatory? If so, should an independent investigative agency be designated to investigate, recommend, and direct remedies for abuse?
4. Should an independent advocate to represent residents and their interests be created?