Alberta government resources for dementia include those provided by: Alberta Health, Alberta Health Services, Health Quality Council of Alberta, Alberta Seniors and Housing, Alberta Community and Social Services, Alberta Ombudsman and the Ministry of Justice and Solicitor General.
Alberta Health is the Ministry of Health for Alberta. Although it contracts out much of its activities to other organizations such as Alberta Health Services, it plays an important role in key areas that affect people with dementia. In particular, it is responsible for:
- Providing health-related information to the general public through its My Health website.
- Writing legislative documents such as Acts and Regulations covering a wide range of health facilities and services.
- Performing audits of seniors’ homes facilities as related to the accommodation. The results of these audits are available to the public on the Alberta Health website. Complaints concerning accommodations may be made using the Alberta Health Complaints Mechanism.
- Providing advocacy services through its Alberta Health Advocates. This includes accepting and processing complaints by individuals related to their health care.
Alberta Health Services
Whereas Alberta Health is responsible for providing health-related information and writing the governing health legislation, provision of health services to Albertans falls under the mandate of the Alberta Health Services (AHS) agency. The scope of AHS activities is very broad and includes:
- Issuing Alberta Health Cards.
- Providing medical services.
- Funding for capital projects such as hospitals.
- Paying medical staff.
- Providing Home Care.
- Subsidizing Supportive Living and Long-term Care facilities.
- Providing information and advice through its website and its 24/7 811 phone Health Link.
- AHS also accepts complaints through its Patient Relations Department.
Health Quality Council of Alberta
The Health Quality Council of Alberta (HQCA) is an agency that monitors and reports on the quality of care provided to Albertans. HQCA’s role in conducting surveys is of particular interest to users of various health services. Recent surveys include:
- Alberta Home Care Client Experience Survey (2016)
- Long Term Care Family Experience Survey (2017)
- Designated Supportive Living Family & Resident Experience Survey (2019).
The last two surveys include overall and issue-specific ratings of individual facilities.
Alberta Seniors and Housing
Most dementia-related issues fall under Alberta Health and its AHS agency. Because people with dementia are quite often seniors with, possibly, additional physical disabilities, some issues may also involve Alberta Seniors and Housing. This ministry is responsible for a wide spectrum of activities related to seniors. Of particular interest, it offers the Seniors’ Lodge Program through the Social Housing Accommodation Regulation. It also provides other assistance programs discussed in Section 5.2 of the Where do we go from here? document.
Alberta Community and Social Services
Community and Social Services provides a wide variety of social-based benefits and programs. It includes Alberta Supports which is a walk-in service that provides information and accepts applications for human services programs including those specifically related to seniors and people with disabilities.
The Alberta Ombudsman investigates complaints involving a wide variety of areas not limited to health care. It has very specific limitations as to what it can and cannot investigate. Its mandate and limitations are clearly outlined on the “Before Filing a Complaint” section of its website.
Ministry of Justice and Solicitor General
Through its Guardianship & Trusteeship office, the Ministry of Justice and Solicitor General, provides assistance to those who have no-one to help them as Power of Attorney or Personal Directive Agent.
More detailed information on the above departments and agencies can be found in the Where do we go from here? document.
- Alberta Health: Section 2.1.1
- Alberta Health Services: Section 2.2.1
- Health Quality Council of Alberta: Section 2.2.2
- Alberta Seniors and Housing: Section 2.1.2
- Alberta Community and Social Services: Section 2.1.3
- Alberta Ombudsman: Section 2.1.4
- Ministry of Justice and Solicitor General: Section 5.4
More information is also available on the Useful Links document and on related blog posts.