Edmonton man taken to motel instead of long-term care: family

The family of an Edmonton man who suffered a stroke was “very frustrated” with the province after he was taken to a motel instead of a long-term care facility when he was released from hospital.

After six months at the Royal Alexandra Hospital where he recovered from a stroke that left him partially paralyzed and in a wheelchair, Blair Canniff, 62, was taken to a Travelodge Motel in Leduc, his stepdaughter told CTV News Edmonton.

“It’s very, very, very frustrating,” Jeela Manniapik said on Tuesday. “And when AHS released Blair from the care of the hospital to Contentment Social Services, they never looked at the facility that he was going to. They never did any research, it didn’t seem like, because the social worker when I spoke to she honestly believed it was a permanent long-term care facility.”

Alberta’s health minister says appropriate discharge policies were followed when questioned by the Opposition NDP on Monday.

“[AHS] assured me that all of the processes in terms of discharge were followed,” Adriana LaGrange said.

“This individual was discharged to a non-profit organization that chose that particular site.”

CTV News Edmonton reached out to Contentment Social Services for comment.

“A senior should never be sent to a motel to receive care from someone who just randomly pops by,” NDP Leader Rachel Notley said.

Blair Canniff was taken to a motel in Leduc instead of a long-term care facility after he was released from the Royal Alexandra Hospital. (Supplied)

The NDP asked the minister how many other patients are in motels and how often this company is used by AHS. The health minister’s press secretary said the ministry is “working with AHS to examine their discharge policy and ensure patients are accessing the right services in the right place.”

Manniapik told CTV News Edmonton there were at least 10 other patients in the motel where her stepfather was, but she said they were moved “to a place that was more accessible for wheelchairs and people with disabilities.”

“The doors were too heavy for people in wheelchairs to open, the ramp was too steep for people to use themselves and the bathrooms were too small to transfer someone on and off the toilet,” she said.

Canniff is now back at the Royal Alexandra Hospital and there’s no timeline to get into long-term care.

“Our health-care system is failing,” Manniapik said.

With files from CTV News Edmonton’s Chelan Skulski