Winnipeg family says home care falling short
Published Tuesday, October 10, 2017 5:22PM CST
Last Updated Tuesday, October 10, 2017 5:46PM CST
A Winnipeg family is sounding alarm bells tonight about the state of home care in our province.
Brian Joye lives with cerebral palsy and depends on home care workers to assist him. He can't get out of bed until his home worker arrives.
"I'm just lying there like a beached whale," Joye jokes.
This past Sunday, his family says Joye's homecare worker, who was scheduled to arrive first thing in the morning, called in sick. It took hours before a replacement could arrive.
This isn't the first time Joye has been left waiting. His family says the same thing happened on at least three other long weekends earlier this year. "I asked to speak to a supervisor," said Brian's sister Ramona. "And she said ma'am, your issue has been noted. The supervisor is aware of this issue, and she doesn't need to speak to you on this matter."
In a statement to CTV News, the Winnipeg Regional Health Authority says: "We do stress with clients and families to ensure a back-up contact, either family or friends who can visit the client when an immediate replacement cannot be found. This is important to maintain continuity of services for the client."
But Ramona, who survived a car accident, is physically incapable of helping Brian out of bed. They rely on home care workers. "My biggest fear is getting a phone call that he's been lying in bed for 24, or 48 hours, had a blood clot and has passed away," says Ramona.
Brian's family says they don't understand why alternate arrangements can't be made, especially when lives like Brian's are hanging in the balance.
The WRHA says it works hard to find replacements. But it says that can be challenging when multiple sick calls come in. In a case where a replacement home care worker can't be found for the initial visit of the day, schedules will be adjusted, and a replacement home care worker will attend the next visit, which means later the same day.