Lack of staff, baths a concern in long-term care homes in Saskatchewan

REGINA — Staffing levels and a lack of baths are once again topping a list of concerns from residents of long-term care homes in  Saskatchewan .

The issues are identified in reports compiled after health region CEOs toured seniors homes to see what’s working and what can be improved.

Staffing levels were issues in nine health regions. Residents praised employees, but said they’re overworked.

“Staff continue to feel overwhelmed with many initiatives and expectations,” said the report on Central Parkland Lodge in Lanigan, which is owned and operated by the  Saskatoon  Health Region.

The same report said: “Recruitment and retention of staff is an ongoing challenge in this rural area.”


Lanigan is a small community about 125 kilometres southeast of  Saskatoon .

The  Saskatoon  Health Region also said recruitment and retention continues to be a challenge in Cudworth, another small community about 85 kilometres northeast of  Saskatoon, “with limited health care professionals living there.”

“This staffing situation contributes further to retention as the lack of available staff occasionally creates challenging workloads for those who are on duty. The team works well together — but without adequate staff those who are expected to take on additional workload get tired out.”

In the Kelsey Trail Health Region, the report noted a lack of staff for meal times causes incontinence problems.

People in four health regions also said they wanted more baths.

“Bathing once a week is good, but residents would like to maybe have access to bathing twice a week if possible,” said the report from Saltcoats Lakeside Manor Care Home in the Sunrise Health Region.

Staffing levels, baths, food quality, a lack of activities and problems with aging nurse call systems that don’t work have been reported since the CEO tours started in 2013.

The 2013 reports raised concerns from across the province about staff being stretched to capacity and residents soiling themselves because there weren’t enough staff to help them get to the toilet.

The  Saskatchewan  government put up $10 million in October 2013 to address urgent issues in care homes and boosted that a further $3.8 million in December 2013.


Related news: