UPDATE: Elderly woman transferred from Corner Brook hospital to Stephenville Crossing

Cory
Cory Hurley
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Western Memorial Regional Hospital.

CORNER BROOK  Despite her family’s efforts to stop it, Alice Hinks has been transferred from Western Memorial Regional Hospital in Corner Brook to Stephenville Crossing for her continued care.

Hinks, who turns 90 later this month, was moved from acute care at Western Memorial, where she was on a wait list for a long-term care bed, to the Bay St. George Long Term Care facility this morning. Due to a shortage of beds at Western Memorial, it was decided Hinks would be transferred to free up a bed for emergency or surgical patients.

Her son, Todd Hinks, and his family are worried the move to another facility in another part of western Newfoundland would be difficult mentally for the Deer Lake woman. He said his mother has a history of severe anxiety, claustrophobia and panic attacks. She becomes overwhelmed when strangers are in her room, and has family members visiting her to provide comfort on a daily basis.

The move to Stephenville Crossing will take that away from her.

Hinks, who just arrived in Stephenville Crossing early this afternoon, said his mother was medicated for the transfer. He was about to visit her to see how she was doing.

His focus is now on getting her back to Corner Brook as soon as possible.

Meanwhile, NDP Leader Lorraine Michaels called the situation a sad reflection of the state of senior care in the province.

“I was appalled to hear that it is considered normal for an appreciable percentage of the beds in Western Memorial Hospital to be regularly occupied by people who should really be in other facilities,” Michael stated in a press release.

The leader said there is a crisis in senior care which government refuses to address with any kind of comprehensive plan.

“The eventual solution will include a mix of adequate home care, accessible and affordable housing, personal care homes and long-term care facilities,” Michael stated.

 

Previous story...

 

CORNER BROOK  Right down to the last hour, Todd Hinks is fighting to keep his elderly and ailing mother in hospital in Corner Brook.

Alice Hinks is scheduled to be transferred from Western Memorial Regional Hospital to the Bay St. George Long Term Care in Stephenville Crossing this morning at about 11 a.m.

The Deer Lake woman who turns 90 later this month has been in an acute-care bed for about a year, and is now on a wait list for a long-term care bed. Due to lack of space at Western Memorial, it was decided Hinks would be transferred to this facility to free up a bed for emergency or surgical patients.

Todd said his mother was determined a suitable patient to move because of her physical care needs, but feels her mental well-being is being ignored. He said she has a history of severe anxiety, claustrophobia and panic attacks. She becomes overwhelmed when strangers are in her room, and has family members visiting her to provide comfort on a daily basis.

The move to Stephenville Crossing will take that away from her.

“When we broke the news to her, she broke down and cried,” Hinks said.

He said hospital administrators are preaching “policy, policy, policy,” but he said they are not considering the bigger picture. He is concerned his mother may not survive the transfer or suffer irreparable complications.

“I would not be surprised if she suffered a mini-stroke because of this,” he said. “I told (hospital administration) that it is like they are pushing her out to pasture. I told them it is like they have a licence to kill.”

He said the family also had the option to take her home, but that they do not consider that a viable alternative.

Hinks, and the rest of his family, are continuing to lobby to stop the transfer. He has asked for her to stay where she is or be transferred to a long-term care bed in Corner Brook. He said he has been told she is sixth on the wait list for a long-term care bed, and there is no timeframe for how long she would be at the Bay St. George Long-Term Care before there is an opening.

They have contacted a number of politicians, including the leaders of the Liberal Party and New Democratic Party, Dwight Ball and Lorraine Michael, who he said are looking into the matter in their behalf. With the time ticking down to her transfer, he is just hoping it gets overturned.

“We have our fingers crossed, just praying for some kind of miracle,” he said. “We are hoping somebody comes through for us.”

For Tuesday's story, click here.

 

 

Organizations: Corner Brook hospital, Western Memorial Regional Hospital, Liberal Party New Democratic Party

Geographic location: Deer Lake, Corner Brook

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  • MICHAEL BOURGEOIS
    January 19, 2014 - 12:41

    I AM 63 YR'S OF AGE .THIS SCARES ME.

  • theresa locke
    January 16, 2014 - 13:38

    What a shame.To be at an age when you are unable to look after yourself and then to be sent to a place where you have to lose touch with your family.Sad.

  • sandra wells
    January 16, 2014 - 07:16

    My Mother In Law is at the Sydney hospital in NS on her 55th day! We can't even get her transfered to our own province due to the lack of understanding and compasion between the provinces medical care system. I feel for your family Todd and praying that someone will do what is required to keep your mom closer to her family. My father in law has been at his wife's side through all of this. My husband and sister in law did get to visit her in early December, but of course other responsiblities such as work they could not stay there indefinitly. We have been trying since Dec. 20th to get her here to St. John's, but still no satisfaction. First there were no beds anywhere in NL to have her transferred back, plus of course it was the Christmas holidays and nothing and nobody moves during that time! It frustrating to see how many families in addition to the stress of having their family in a hospital bed have the added stress of knowing that you can't even visit them because the powers that be can't come to an agreement to get her close to family who can help take care of her. Karma is a bitch and unfortunately many policies are not changed until someone of the "powers that be" have a drastic situation happen to their own family and they are then in the same situation as we are.

  • sandra wells
    January 16, 2014 - 07:15

    My Mother In Law is at the Sydney hospital in NS on her 55th day! We can't even get her transfered to our own province due to the lack of understanding and compasion between the provinces medical care system. I feel for your family Todd and praying that someone will do what is required to keep your mom closer to her family. My father in law has been at his wife's side through all of this. My husband and sister in law did get to visit her in early December, but of course other responsiblities such as work they could not stay there indefinitly. We have been trying since Dec. 20th to get her here to St. John's, but still no satisfaction. First there were no beds anywhere in NL to have her transferred back, plus of course it was the Christmas holidays and nothing and nobody moves during that time! It frustrating to see how many families in addition to the stress of having their family in a hospital bed have the added stress of knowing that you can't even visit them because the powers that be can't come to an agreement to get her close to family who can help take care of her. Karma is a bitch and unfortunately many policies are not changed until someone of the "powers that be" have a drastic situation happen to their own family and they are then in the same situation as we are.

  • IVOR HANN
    January 15, 2014 - 23:15

    WITH THE SITUATIONS AT THE WESTERN MEMORIAL HOSPITAL SO BAD AS IT IS THE NEW HOSPITAL SHOULD HAVE BEEN HALF FINISHED BY NOW AND NOT HALF THOUGHT ABOUT .I ASK YOU FEDS JUST GO AND SPEND A DAY THERE AND NOT DAYS AND NIGHTS LIKE WE HAVE TO DO SOMETIMES , JUST TRY IT AND SEE HOW MUCH YOU CAN HANDLE WATCHING YOUR LOVED ONE BEING SHOVED OF SOMEWHERE WHERE YOU CAN AFFORD TO GO AND BE WITH THEM, I BET IS YOU FEDS DON'T HAVE THE GUTS YOU RATHER PAY SOMEONE TO DO IT FOR YOU CAUSE YOU GOT A JOB THAT PAYS WAY BEYOND WHAT WE GET , I DO IT 7 DAYS A WEEK AT APROX . 21HOURS A DAY AND I DARE YOU TRY IT I'M WITH YOU MR HINKS .