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GlobalTV News: Group upset over changes to specialized care home criteria

Minister Dube, on TV stating she supports enforced segregation and stereotyping seniors with dementia as posing a risk to well minded seniors. What does she think will happen if all these “dangerous” seniors with dementia are in the same building? They then wouldn’t pose a risk to each other? This is how silly and ignorant Social Developments arguments are. It is completely unfair and unfortunate that the Social Development Department is spreading such untruths about our seniors. They deserve better.

Global TV News ran this story on their news last night:

New Brunswick Legislature – March 14/2014

Chris Collins (LIB-Moncton East) brought forth our petition this morning in the New Brunswick Legislature and questioned Minister Dube on the Social Development admission policy. Minister Dube again completely ignored the real issue and deferred seniors to Home Care or Level 2 Special Care Homes. These options are great for seniors that need those services however we are specifically speaking about the 1000’s of seniors requiring Level 3 care in New Brunswick and would formerly have been classified as 3B and been able to live in 3B facilities. If these seniors do not have Alzheimers (about 90% of former 3B seniors) they are now assessed as 3A meaning their only care option is to remain in hospital until a nursing home bed becomes available. At a significantly higher cost to the province than the 3B facilities that could previously care of them.

Below is a video clip and transcript of Minister Dube being questioned:

March 14, 2014 Not finalized / Non finalisé le 14 mars 2014

Special Care Homes

Mr. Collins: Will the Minister of Social Development please confirm that, as a result of a policy change by the department on long-term care, only seniors diagnosed with dementia and Alzheimer’s will be eligible for subsidy in Level 3B special care homes?

Hon. Mrs. Dubé: Thank you for the question. We have done a lot for seniors, and we will continue to do a lot for seniors because they are important.

This government announced a couple of years ago that we were going to have specialized care beds for seniors who have dementia and Alzheimer’s. We are subsidizing them as well. We are helping them as well. Actually, we have announced 704 new specialized care beds for Alzheimer’s and for dementia across this province. We are on board. We are helping them, and we are creating more beds across this province, through an RFP process, I might say. We are going to continue to help those seniors. Continue reading

Reading of Petition in Legislature – Friday Mar 14

We currently have about 1100 signatures on our petition, 730+ online and 400+ in person. Chris Collins (MLA, Moncton East) will be bringing the petition forward to be read in the New Brunswick Provincial Legislature this Friday March 14/2014 at 9:00am.

All are invited to show their support by sitting in the gallery. The address is 706 Queen Street in Fredericton (Across from the Beaverbrook Art Gallery) and the doors open at 8:00am.

Here’s the Goole Map Link:,-66.6363603,17z/data=!3m1!4b1!4m2!3m1!1s0x4ca418a6bc4e6a89:0x8e7510a56c57638c


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

Is it right to segregate people who have dementia?

John R. Burton, M.D. Director, Johns Hopkins Geriatric Education Center wrote an article on dementia and whether it is right to segregate those with dementia from others. Here’s an excerpt:

“Some of these homes are brilliant but I would argue that the better they are, the less overtly specialist and the more normal and homely they seem. They may be specialist homes but their speciality is in real relationships taking place in an authentic community or family setting.

These are places where there is an overwhelming feeling of togetherness rather than separation.”

Read the whole article here:

News 91.9 Radio Interview with Amy Klassen

Amy Klassen of McNair Manor had an interview on News 91.9 Thursday morning (Nov 28) with Tyler McLean about the lack of action on DSD’s part. Residents that would have formerly been Level 3B in New Brunswick are still being denied access to small-scale more home like special care homes and are instead stranded in hospital beds.

Listen to it here:


Also posted are previous radio interviews done by News 91.9. Listen below:

Oct 2/2013  Interview with Mark Mattison

Oct 3/2013  Interview with Amy Klassen, business operator, McNair Manor

Oct 7/2013  Interview with Joan McCarthy, Manager, Department of Social Development

Oct 8/2013  Interview with Vicki Ward, business operator, Hillside View Manor