The final section of the “Where do we go from here?” document on this website provides the following recommendations related to Transparency and Advocacy. These are offered to improve the information available to caregivers and to facilitate their involvement in the health care provided to people with dementia in Alberta.
For the sake of transparency, it would be useful for Alberta Health or AHS to make Continuing Care Health Service Standards (CCHSS) audit results publicly available on a website for individual DSL and LTC facilities and Home Care offices. This is currently only being done for the accommodations standards. Similarly, although regulations and standards are readily available on the Alberta Health website, similar easy access to all the AHS Policies and Procedures relevant to Clients would be useful. This would allow individuals and Councils to assess their concerns and rights when presenting issues locally to facilities and Alberta Home Care or provincially to the AHS Patient Relations department.
Local advocacy groups for dementia should be formed by caregivers and other interested parties to complement the work being done by the Alzheimer Society. DSL and LTC facilities should encourage residents and their caregivers to form their own Council as described in the CCHSS standards. Since Home Care falls under the same standards, it is important for its Clients and caregivers to be able to express their needs and concerns through their own local Home Care Council. The onus is, of course, on the Clients and caregivers to actively participate in the Council. Council members, on the other hand, are responsible for organizing and running their meetings, making themselves aware of the regulations and addressing the needs of all Clients and caregivers requesting help from the Council.