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Cecile Cassista is the executive director of the Coalition for Seniors and Nursing Home Residents' Rights. Image: Submitted/Town of Riverview

Advocate welcomes long-term care report

By Brad Perry Mar 14, 2024 | 6:36 AM

A New Brunswick seniors’ advocate is welcoming this week’s report into the province’s long-term care system.

Cecile Cassista is the executive director of the Coalition for Seniors and Nursing Home Residents’ Rights.

Cassista said the nearly 200-page report echoes everything her group has been saying for many years.

“I really think that it’s very significant. It touches on all of the key points that impact many seniors, many individuals living in these care facilities,” Cassista said in an interview.

Wednesday’s report from Kelly Lamrock, the province’s seniors’ advocate, has been in the making for more than a year.

Lamrock said New Brunswickers will not feel safe relying on the long-term care system unless urgent government action is taken.

“We heard loud and clear that New Brunswickers want to feel they can trust that the necessary support will be there when we need help caring for ourselves. We also heard loud and clear that the trust is not yet there,” he said.

“There are good people providing long-term care, but the system that supports, encourages and funds their work is not yet there.”

The report identified seven areas that the government needs to take immediate action and listed dozens of recommendations.

Cassista said one of the areas that really stands out for her relates to the long-term care assessment process.

“We’ve been asking for that to be streamlined for a long time so that people can be allocated or placed in homes of their choice so that they can continue to have a quality of life.

Cassista said this is one of the most comprehensive reports on long-term care that she has seen in her 20 years of advocating for change.

As for what happens next, she said it will be up to the government to decide what to do.

“It’s going to have to be the willingness of the government of the day or future governments that are going to have to move forward on these items,” said Cassista.

The province declined to comment on the report Wednesday, saying it still needed time to review it.