Disabled Lethbridge man voicing concerns over self-care forms
Ryan Gerstenbuhler speaking outside him home last week. He's upset about a four-page form he was recently given by Alberta Health Services requires a record of each and every daily task his care staff performs. Photo credit to MyLethbridgeNow.com (Pat Siedlecki)
A Lethbridge resident is speaking out about what he’s calling an invasive review of his care under the Self-Managed Care Program.
It allows individuals, who suffer from chronic health issues, to receive assistance at home.
Ryan Gerstenbuhler is a quadriplegic who uses a wheelchair and has lived in his home for more than 12 years thanks to the support of his caregivers and family.
He says a four-page form he was recently given by Alberta Health Services requires a record of each and every daily task his care staff performs. “Ask yourselves how you would feel if someone came into your home with a form and very politely asked you to account, down to the minute or the second, how long it takes you to go to the bathroom? That’s what this form is about.”
Gerstenbuhler says the form is based on times and schedules enforced within home care and assisted living facilities, adding it essentially takes his private residence and defines it as a facility.
Lethbridge West MLA Shannon Phillips some residents like Gerstenbuhler have raised concerns to her office about onerous and invasive annual reviews this year. “Ryan doesn’t belong in a long-term care facility. He belongs in the community, but he needs care in order to be able to live independently. He needs to be able to do that without a bureaucrat standing over him with timer to see how long it takes him to eat his lunch.”
Phillips told local media last week that in many cases individuals are being threatened with reduced care hours that could mean they will no longer be able to stay in their homes.