Suspension on admissions at Rainycrest lifted

The suspension on admissions at Rainycrest Home for the Aged was lifted Friday and new residents will begin moving in this week, administrator Jill Colquhoun said.
The 135-bed facility currently has five vacancies. Two residents will be moved in this week and two next week, Colquhoun noted.
Rainycrest’s overnight respite program also is being reinstated. This program gives a break to people caring for aging loved ones by looking after them overnight for a nominal daily fee.
There currently is one respite bed available.
The Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care first suspended admissions at Rainycrest on April 30.
The ministry had been monitoring the facility since November, 2002 when concerns were first raised about Rainycrest’s compliance with ministry standards, spokesperson Tanya Cholakov said.
Neither Cholakov nor Colquhoun would elaborate on what the issues of non-compliance are, but Colquhoun noted that important changes have been made.
“We are working with a health care consulting company to bring the facility into compliance,” she said.
“The multiple initiatives underway are showing a positive course of action towards addressing the issues,” she added. “The ministry has noted [the initiatives], and the notification to resume admissions is confirmation of the positive steps that are being taken.”
The initiatives include the hiring of a director of resident care, an assistant director of resident care, a nutrition and food service supervisor, and an environmental services supervisor.
Colquhoun noted staff are active on new committees and are learning new skills through “extensive training and educational programs.”
A resident food committee is now in place, and in August a Family and Friends Advisory Council was organized to assist in bringing concerns to the attention of the staff.
The council meets on the third Monday of every month at 7 p.m. and new members are welcome.
“Additional front line staff have been hired and recruitment is ongoing for both registered and non-registered nursing staff,” Colquhoun said.
All of these initiatives have lead to the ministry lifting the suspension, she added. “Positive aspects were noted in the recent compliance reviews. We are pleased with the progress being made,” she remarked.
“Care is increasingly becoming resident-focused, and the facility is ensuring an understanding of resident rights.”
Colquhoun added the ministry will continue to monitor the facility on a weekly basis.
Liz Clark, assistant executive director for patient services at La Verendrye General Hospital, said one of the hospital’s patients will be transferred to Rainycrest this week.
Twenty-six of the hospital’s 60 beds are occupied by patients waiting for access to a long-term care facility.
“At least things are beginning to move,” Clark said. “But we still have all these people waiting. It’s going to take a long time, unless we can get more [long-term care] beds in Fort Frances.”
Earlier in the year, there were 15 interim beds at Rainycrest which were used by the hospital to place their overflow of long-term care patients.
“The interim bed program was a short-term solution to relieve pressure on hospital acute care beds,” Cholakov said.
All interim beds in the province were scheduled for closure yesterday. “There are no more interim beds anywhere in Ontario,” Colquhoun said.
Admissions to long-term care facilities in the Kenora and Rainy River Districts are handled by the Community Care Access Centre, located in Kenora.
When the suspension was lifted, there were more than 50 names on the waiting list for Rainycrest.