+ RMA Rural Municipalities
of Alberta

Resolution 5-09F

Seniors Facilities Remaining in their Home Communities

January 1, 2009
Expiry Date:
November 30, 2012
Active Status:
Cardston County
1 - Foothills-Little Bow
Vote Results:
Carried as Amended

WHEREAS Alberta Health and Wellness is responsible for the long term care of our seniors; and

WHEREAS Alberta Health and Wellness new policy is to shift seniors care from auxiliary extended care to private Designated Assisted Living (DAL); and

WHEREAS the shift to DAL is removing extended care beds from our local Communities, which is resulting in seniors being removed from their home town Communities and the loss of close family contact; now

Operative Clause:

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the Alberta Association of Municipal Districts and Counties urge the Province of Alberta and Alberta Health and Wellness to maintain auxiliary extended care beds, assisted and designated assisted care living beds, within their communities so seniors can feel secure and comfortable and receive proper and compassionate health care, as well as maintaining a connection with their family, friends, and home communities.

Member Background:

The changing demographic within our Province has resulted in the baby boomers reaching an age where they are requiring these facilities for their parents and will soon be needing these facilities themselves. Seniors who have spent a lifetime working and living within a certain community should be allowed to remain in that community during their final years. Seniors who have spent a lifetime of paying taxes and building our society should be allowed to enjoy the comforts of auxiliary extended care with their family and friends close by to give friendship and support when needed, and not be forced to another community only because there is an available bed in an unfamiliar facility. When a individual is required to move, this will only cause stress to be placed on the senior and their families. DAL use LPN’s who have limited training in drug administration where our seniors may require the assistance of RN’s.

Our seniors have built this country and are a major force in the political world and all politicians within the province should consider their needs in their decisions wisely. “Society will be judged on how we look after those who can’t look after themselves.” Let’s ensure our society will be viewed in good standing.

RMA Background:

Resolution 18-09F (Awaiting Vote): THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the Alberta Association of Municipal Districts and Counties advocate the Province to ensure the rural health care system is maintained, and that all decision-making processes and future intentions be transparent and thus sufficiently acknowledge the interests of rural municipalities and all rural Albertans.

Government Response:

Health and Wellness:

Continuing care spaces will be created throughout the province over the next three years.  This includes all levels of supportive living and long-term care facilities.  Alberta Health and Wellness, Alberta Health Services (AHS) and Alberta Seniors and Community Supports are working together to review the continuing care needs of communities to determine where these new continuing care spaces should be created.

AHS applies a placement policy that is designed to ensure that those who require long term care urgently are able to move quickly to an appropriate environment, where their care needs can be safely met.  This may not always be their preferred choice; however, the decision is always made with the care and safety of the client in mind.  AHS then continues to work with the client and their family to facilitate a transfer to a location of the client’s choice once that option becomes available.
Designated assisted living settings provide the highest level of care out of all “supportive living” levels, including access to 24-hour personal and professional nursing care.  Designated assisted living facilities must adhere to the provincial health and accommodation standards and be licensed by Alberta Seniors and Community Supports.  These facilities also operate under contract with AHS and are directly accountable to them. 

Seniors and Community Supports:

Through the Affordable Supportive Living Initiative capital grant program, Alberta Seniors and Community Supports relies on needs assessments done by interested applicants to validate that supportive living units are needed in a given community. 
The department is supportive of the vision in the Continuing Care Strategy that a community offer a range of accommodation to meet local needs including a variety of operator types.


The provincial government’s 5-year Health Action Plan contains a strategy to provide more choice for continuing care.  Specifically, enhancing access, co-ordination and standards for continuing care through the development and implementation of a 5-year plan for continuing care. The plan will describe the full continuum of care from home care to long-term care, and will include capital plans and new ways of delivering continuing care services. The goal is to add over 5,300 continuing care spaces in Alberta by 2015.  The home care program will be strengthened, and more investment will be made in supportive-living options that combine housing with supports for daily living and health care. This will help reduce demand for hospital beds, ease congestion in emergency departments, and add capacity to the overall health-care system.

The AAMDC accepts the action to date on meeting the intent of this resolution.  However, health care continues to be top of mind for Albertans and the AAMDC will monitor progress and participate in consultation to ensure rural perspectives are represented.

Provincial Ministries:
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