Being blocked, NOT “bed blockers”

Recently the Department of Social Development (DSD) has instituted a significant narrowing of seniors who are eligible to be admitted to Level 3B facilities in New Brunswick. The 3B assessment has been used in this province for almost 2 decades with excellent results and great service provided by the operators offering this service. This has always been a small scale facility (about 18 beds) with a customized care plan for each individual resident and has always been an inclusive environment. The only criteria was the care needs of the individual, never their specific medical diagnosis. DSD has now chosen to discriminate who is able to be admitted and is excluding every senior requiring a 3B level of service simply because they do not have a diagnosis of advanced dementia. These individuals who have either no dementia or not advanced enough dementia are assessed as a 3A and forced to wait in hospital beds on the nursing home wait list for the sole reason that they are cognitively well. These hospital and nursing home beds cost the province 2-3x what 3B facilities do.

These individuals have often been referred to as “bed blockers” however the actual situation is that these individuals are being blocked from admission to appropriate Level 3B care facilities hence

DSD’s “solution” to this issue is to allow individuals who have been bed blocked with a 3A assessment to enter a 3B facility only if they sign a waiver that excludes them from ever receiving a subsidy for their long term care needs for the duration of their residency. Thereby making this a service that extremely few seniors in need of this service can afford.

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