Staying safe

Authority Fraser Health Authority

Margot was worried about the length of time it was taking Fraser Health Authority to find an appropriate residential care facility for her son, Bill. She explained that Bill lived alone and was at risk of serious injury. Since Bill’s wheelchair did not fit through his bathroom door, he had to leave it outside the bathroom and make his way as best he could. As a result, he often fell and was unable to get up on his own. Bill received home support services three times daily, but sometimes this was not enough.

During one three-day period, the BC Ambulance Service was called to Bill’s apartment several times because he had fallen. He was taken to the hospital on two of those occasions. During those same three days, Bill suffered a fall without his Lifeline device and he had to make noise to draw the attention of nearby construction workers who were able to come and assist him.

We investigated whether the health authority was following a reasonable procedure in responding to the request for residential placement, and whether there was any unreasonable delay in offering Bill a residential care placement. Bill’s case manager confirmed that Bill’s need for residential care was urgent but placement was complicated because Bill had selected preference in two geographic areas whereas policy limited preference to one area.

Everyone agreed Bill’s need was urgent so we explored interim measures with the health authority that would address his situation. As a result, the health authority increased Bill’s home support hours so that one or two home support workers were with him from 8 a.m. until 8 p.m. in order to optimize his safety and assist him with personal care needs until he moved to a facility. A few weeks later, space became available at a facility in the community near his family. The health authority continued with extended support until Bill moved into the facility.

Category Health
Type Case Summary
Fiscal Year 2012
Location The Lower Mainland