Long-term care fees set to rise in Alberta

Alberta government increasing long-term care fees by three per cent. A seniors advocate says the increase is "unconscionable." 

Ottawa (25 Oct. 2010) - The Alberta government has decided to hike accommodation fees - again - for seniors living in long-term care homes. 

Facility operators have been given the green light to raise the fees by three per cent effective Feb. 1, 2011.

It was only two years ago that the Alberta government approved a 7% increase in fees. 

The changes will bring the maximum accommodation fee to $55.90 a day for a private room, up from the current $54.25, according to provincial figures. That works out to an average monthly rate of $1,700.

The cost of a semi-private room will rise to $48.40 a day with an average monthly rate of $1,472. 

The price of a standard room will go up to $45.85 with an average monthly rate of $1,395. 

Ruth Adria of the Elder Advocates of Alberta Society criticized the government's decision. 

"It's unconscionable," Adria said.  "Seniors are being over-charged, the fee increase isn't justified."  

Critics said seniors on a fixed income can't afford the increase and pointed out there's no guarantee the extra money will go towards improving the quality of care, opening new beds or hiring more workers.  

They also said the 3% increase was unwarranted given the consumer price index is less than 1% in Alberta. 

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The National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE) is one of Canada's largest labour organizations with over 340,000 members. Our mission is to improve the lives of working families and to build a stronger Canada by ensuring our common wealth is used for the common good. NUPGE

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