A message from Shepherd's Care Foundation, a valued ACCA Member, for the Holidays!Dec 18, 2018
Dear Residents, Families and Friends of Shepherd’s Care Foundation (SCF),
I was blessed through God’s guidance to come to SCF in April of 2018 as the new President and CEO. This started Chapter 3 of SCF, signifying that I am the third President and CEO of this great Christian organization dedicated to caring for our seniors and those in need. As we close out 2018, I thought I would recap the year from a CEO’s perspective.
Providing quality care and accommodations to our residents as government dollars shrink with economic contraction and increased deficit spending can’t continue unabated forever. The shrinking dollars we receive from government mean we have to do more with less - an unpopular phrase with our valued staff, residents and family members (residents’ advocates).
So what it does this mean from a SCF perspective? Simply put, we have to continue to focus on efficiency and effectiveness to ensure we are putting to use the shrinking dollars to provide the best quality care and accommodations we can. Our mandate going forward is to put 95% of every dollar that comes into SCF into care and accommodations to the benefit of our residents. Our target is to design an efficient and effective organization in which we will spend no more than 5% of our budget on administrative services (Management, site management, human resources, accounting, materials management, maintenance, occupational health and safety).
Advocating for Action
This is us doing our part in the complex environment of providing quality care and seniors’ homes. We can’t do it alone! We need an advocacy voice for the industry, to ensure that we maintain funding levels that allow us as an organization to survive and provide the care our beloved residents need and deserve.
As such, SCF are members of advocacy and industry associations such as the Christian Health Association of Alberta (CHAA) and the Alberta Continuing Care Association (ACCA). Both are organizations that are in existence for the purpose to advocate to the government, our funders, to ensure we are provided funding that will allow us, as an efficient and effective organization, to have sufficient resources to provide the care our residents need/deserve as they age-in-place in environments that are home-like.
These organizations do a great job of creating a dialogue with government that helps set policy direction of government in relation to seniors care - something that we would have limited success with on our own. We have strength in numbers and common thought.
I am a Board member of the CHAA and have been invited in with the Board of ACCA to speak with, and help articulate a policy direction for all parties that hope to form the next government. Through the ACCA, I and other ACCA members have met directly with Stephan Mandel (the leader of Alberta Party) and his Caucus to outline the seniors’ care industry thoughts to not only identify problems, but provide well thought-out, researched and clearly articulated solutions. To date, we have not had the same success in meeting with the current NDP government.
We have also met with Jason Kenny (leader of the United Conservative Party of Alberta) and his caucus and nominees in Edmonton and Calgary to have solution-focused discussions on how we can continue to provide quality care and accommodations with governments that are facing a $100 billion dollar deficit from uncontrolled spending, in light of shrinking resource revenues and related contraction of the Alberta economy.
Sounds like an insurmountable task, but it’s not. We must work together as providers. Through our advocacy as part of our membership in ACCA, we have proposed and are calling on the Government of Alberta - and those parties wishing to form the next government - to:
1. Transfer responsibility and oversight for Continuing Care from Alberta Health Services to a defined government ministry.
2. Improve the quality of accommodation services such as meals, housekeeping, laundry, recreation activities, and capital upgrades by providing government supplements to the base private room accommodate rate to at least the national average—approximately $2,778 per month (at $1,992 per month Alberta’s accommodation service rate is the second lowest in Canada.
3. Invest in Continuing Care infrastructure, as well as provide supports for the broader system infrastructure, such as homecare and community care (more than 50%of the Long-Term care facilities are 30 years or older.
Accommodations at SCF
SCF, through its Christian ministry, has been providing Age- in-Place seniors’ care and accommodation services for almost 50 years. As a result, many of our care homes are greater than 30 years and in need of renewal. So what are we doing to prepare for the call on government as it relates to our “Continuing Care infrastructure?” In the last eight months, in addition to sitting at the tables to participate in policy direction with CHAA and ACCA, we at SCF have been planning for the future to remain a Relevant organization in providing seniors’ care and providing home-like Age-in-Place residences for our loved ones.
The supportive Board members of SCF have approved the development of three capital projects (as government support becomes available) which address point three listed above. The projects are as follows:
1) SCF Head Office Space Redevelopment
Although not directly related to our residents care, the current head office of SCF is spread throughout the Millwoods campus and is occupying premium space that could be used to enhance the lives of our residents living at the Millwoods campus. As such, the Board has approved the renovation and building of a new office space at our Kensington Village site.Once complete, all administrative functions will be moved to Kensington Village, which is our largest site.
2) Millwoods Campus Renovation
It is necessary to move administrative personnel out of Millwoods to Kensington Village to free up space to better serve the resident needs at Millwoods. Once non-resident office space is freed up for resident use, Millwoods will be renovated through application to the Province of Alberta’s Infrastructure Maintenance Program. Millwoods is 60% owned by Alberta Health Services (AHS) and, as such, would qualify for government funding to renovate the existing facility to meet resident needs.
Renovations planned for at Millwoods include:
• Expansion of the second and third floor dining areas for residents to allow for space for 63 residents per floor in the dining areas.
• Expansion of the main floor dining area to also be used as a spacious recreation room
• Enhancing the physical therapy and occupational therapy space and moving these to the basement level off the elevators. This will allow better space and make transport of residents easier for staff.
• Redevelopment of ground level space where the current administrative offices are and the staff room to resident use space including:
o Visiting Physician office space
o Visiting Podiatrist space
o Space for other visiting allied health professionals
o New hair dressing space
o Development of a new seating area for residents and families, with the potential of a quick-serve restaurant and coffee bar. This will allow residents and families an area in which they can have an outing in the residents’ own home
o Expansion of the current chapel to accommodate up to 200 residents and guests (Expansion of the chapel will not be covered by government funding and will require SCF to fundraise for this part of the capital expansion)
3) Expansion of Eden House & Redevelopment of Southside Manor
Eden House was built as part of the Shepherd’s Gardens Heritage development and is connected to the Heritage condominium development.
The eight-story Eden house structure has an eighth floor common space owned by SCF and used primarily by the residents of Heritage condominiums. The seventh floor houses the beautiful Heritage Market Grill, and provides great quality food to the residents and the public.The remaining six floors (53 beds) of Eden House were originally constructed as Private-Pay care residences. It has become clear that there was a limited market for Private-Pay, and our Board of Directors has approved turning this beautiful facility over to government-funded complex care beds.
We are currently renovating Eden House with support of the Alberta Government’s Assisted Supportive Living Infrastructure (ASLI) grant program to make the facility compliant to AHS standards for housing and care for complex care residents.
The SCF Board has also approved the development of a shovel-ready project attached to Eden House and to the newer part of Southside Manor. This project would be built upon the availability of government grant dollars like the previous ALSI grant, which is now “Building Communities of Care” grant dollars (expected to be announced in first quarter of 2019). Adding a minimum of 128 beds would solve some of the deferred maintenance problems with the aging Southside Manor, and provide additional capacity to move residents from the Shepherd’s Care’s Greenfield campus to a new, more suitable care environment for the SL-4D residents that call Greenfield home.
Greenfield is an aged facility that has large amounts of deferred maintenance from the sewer lines to the roof, and will not meet the long-term needs of these residents as they age-in-place.
In addition to solving SCF failing infrastructure needs, the construction of the new 128 care beds will provide additional funded beds to AHS to meet seniors’ needs, and provide a campus of care with everything from seniors’ condos, to supportive living, to supportive living with dementia, to long-term care and complex care at Eden House: a true Aging-in-Place Campus of Care we could all be proud to call home for ourselves or our loved ones!
If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact my office. We will be providing more information in the upcoming months as plans develop and funding opportunities become known.
As we close out 2018, it is my wish for you and your loved ones to have a very Merry Christmas, and I wish you God’s greatest blessings of health and happiness for the years to come. Remember Christmas is about Christ and, “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him shall not perish, but have everlasting life. John 3:16
President & CEO
Shepherd's Care Foundation