Monthly Archives: February 2014

Times & Transcript – Long term senior care plan is not acceptable

The Times & Transcript published Mark Mattison’s Letter to the Editor today:

“The David Alward government, stealthily, in May 2012, changed their senior care policy, eliminating both choice and financial subsidy to acute care seniors entering long-term care, effectively reducing access to long-term care.”

Read the entire article below:


Telegraph-Journal – Changes make some care inaccessible

Feb 22/2014 – Letters to the Editor:

Level 3B residential care for seniors in New Brunswick is a cost-effective and simple alternative for approximately 50 per cent of nursing home candidates.

Level 3B residential care is long-term care for seniors who are medically stable, but in need of 24-hour caregiving and occasional nursing services. It was thriving until the impact of the 2012 Department of Social Development admission policy change. Level 3B care is now inaccessible to more than 1,000 seniors across New Brunswick. We need strong leadership from our MLAs and Premier Alward to reverse this policy change.

The decisions being made concerning Level 3B special care home admission policy are costing our province millions of dollars in potential savings and resulting in at least one active human rights violation complaint.

For over a year now, families and facility operators have been meeting with the department and provincial MLAs in an attempt to reverse this detrimental admission policy change, without any success.

Now is the time for our government to reinstate the original functional capabilities admission criteria for Level 3B special care homes. We need to allow these services to be accessible for a growing number of seniors in this province.

Amy Klassen
McNair Manor, Moncton

2014-02-22_TJ Letter to Editor - Amy Klassen

Telegraph Journal – Letter to the Editor

From this mornings Telegraph Journal Letter to the Editor section:

Most New Brunswickers would be shocked to learn that senior care is going to potentially cost them tens of thousands of dollars annually. The Alward government, in May 2012,changed its senior-care policy, eliminating both choice and financial subsidy to acute-care seniors entering long-term care, effectively reducing access to long term care.

The plot, woven by the Department of Social Development, is unacceptable. Acute care seniors with healthy minds are now excluded from receiving the subsidy at specialized care homes. Since 2012 only seniors that have dementia qualify for the provincial subsidy.

My mother is 83, a dialysis patient and has advanced macular degeneration. Last spring she fell, breaking her hip and elbow necessitating a move to long-term care. Two large nursing homes in Moncton both had long waiting lists and were refusing to accept dialysis patients.

Therefore the only options were; mom having to stay on the Georges Dumont Hospital’s dialysis ward for a wait of one to two years or seek out the department’s 100 per cent private pay options.

Returning to the pre-May 2012 system, which was a resounding success, constitutes a win for the general public, as they would have the certainty of a shared-cost model with specialized care homes as a viable option. The province wins as specialized care homes can deliver an equally serviced bed at a minimum 50 per cent cost savings versus the large nursing homes. These savings constitute a verifiable windfall. Every taxpayer in the province should be upset over the department’s misappropriation of tax dollars.

Over 90 per cent of the provincial Conservative caucus is fully versed in the financial devastation of this policy and the social injustices.The MLAs are being stonewalled by the department. I encourage everyone to visit New Brunswickers are making this an election issue.

Mark Mattison

2014-02-20_TJ Letter to Editor - Mark Mattison-close

Mark Mattison’s Appeal Letter to Premier Alward

January 31, 2014                                                                                                      184 Savannah Drive

Honourable David Alward – Premier of New Brunswick                                  Moncton, N.B. E1A-6T7


Dear Premier Alward,

Please accept this letter as a request for the Alward government to reconsider the Department of Social Development’s (DSD) policy change of May 2012, which eliminated both choice and financial subsidy for acute care seniors entering specialized care homes in New Brunswick.

My mother, Pauline Mattison, is eighty three years old, a dialysis patient at the George Dumont Hospital, has advanced macular degeneration, and since falling and breaking both her hip and elbow last spring, requires 24 hour care. As her rehabilitation began to plateau in September 2013, it became readily apparent that there were very limited care options for my mother. Both Spencer’s and Monarch were not accepting dialysis patients due to the suspension of the subsidized, provincial transportation.  In fact, they wouldn’t even put her on a waiting list. After extensive research we finally secured a bed at McNair Manor, only to discover that the provincial government had, in May 2012, changed the admission criteria for seniors entering specialized care homes. Only those patients diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, or serious dementia, would now qualify for the provincial subsidy. To place mom into McNairs, DSD told us that the family would have to sign a “private pay waiver” which effectively meant that she would never be eligible to receive a provincial subsidy while residing at a specialized care home. Initially, DSD’s very scripted response was that they felt my mother “would be at risk and would receive inferior care” at a private home. Of course, as soon as our family signed the private pay waiver, those concerns were no longer an issue. How convenient. For the record, the care mom has received at McNairs has been exemplary, confirming what our pre-placement research had indicated. Continue reading

The New Brunswick Department of Social Development delivers “research”

The New Brunswick Department of Social Development finally delivered the research they claim proves the need for their segregated dementia policy. This research had been requested in early 2013 and DSD refused to supply it. McNair Manor ended up putting in a legal Right to Information request to which DSD had 30 days to supply the information. As was posted earlier DSD did not meet the 30 day deadline and instead extended the deadline another 30 days. In mid Decemeber the bankers box pictured below was finally delivered.

It includes 118 research documents on dementia. No mention whatsoever of pilot studies DSD has referred to several times in New Brunswick and on top of that, very few of the documents DSD used for their research even support segregation. The majority endorse an inclusive and normalized environment.

We are working on scanning and uploading all the documents to this site so you can read them for yourself. They will be available here:

2013-12-03_DSD RTI research response-photo