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Care Issues

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    Care Issues


    I want the public to know what is happening to me and this is in the public interest:

    I have MS and I am physically disabled living in Vancouver BC and I feel that my health and wellbeing are in danger from the actions of my care agency if nothing is done. I am asking for your advice and help.

    I am living in a supported housing apartment. My care agency is contracted by Vancouver Coastal Health (VCH)

    My wellbeing, health, and mobility are being threatened because the care agency is refusing to use my sit to stand lift to transfer me, which is a mechanical lift that I can stand in and use my muscles. The lift is used for example to transfer me in and out of bed. It is visually obvious that using the sit to stand with me is safe and this is proven by assessments and recommendations from medical professionals. But my evidence is ignored and the contracted care agency continues to refuse to use it. I am able to stand safely and use my muscles.

    However, the care agency and VCH are trying to force me to use a ceiling lift against my will where I would use my muscles very little if at all, which is not appropriate for me and in a short amount of time would damage my health and mobility. I am not paralyzed and I want to use my muscles to stand, because as we all know if you donít use it, you lose it.

    To protect my health and mobility, it is my family that do all of my transfers manually and with the sit to stand lift to get me out of bed, use the toilet, etc. If they were not helping me, I would be confined to bed and unable to get on the toilet, and eventually I could be stuck in my apartment like a prisoner.

    My family is struggling against the care agency's neglect to protect my health and freedom. They do the work that the public funds the care agency to do.

    Therefore, my family who are themselves elderly are in effect unpaid workers and slaves for the care agency and Vancouver Coastal Health Authority because of the negligence of these organizations. Is this the future of healthcare in Canada?

    Instead of my family visiting and having a good time with me, they have to do the care work for government paid caregivers. These circumstances can allow me to believe that my caregivers are making false complaints to WorksafeBC about using my sit to stand lift, resulting in them getting out of work they are able to do safely.

    For instance, I get no assistance from the care agency with transfers including to the toilet or into and out of bed. The pattern is the caregivers make what I believe to be false complaints to WorkSafeBC and my care gets cut. I canít even appeal these decisions to WorkSafeBC because WorkSafeBC only has mechanisms for appeals from workers and employers and I am neither. In this process I feel that Iím considered to be an object and not a person.

    I feel helpless. Looking forward for any advice and support how to deal with my current situation.

    Thank for your help.

    Hello pacific26 and welcome!

    So very sorry to learn about what you are dealing with. It's obviously not right!

    Have you tried to contact the MS Society of Canada?

    They may be able to guide you to helpful advocacy resources.

    Legal and Self-Advocacy Support

    Take Care
    PPMS for 22 years (dx 1998)
    ~ Worrying will not take away tomorrow's troubles ~ But it will take away today's peace. ~


      I see this as a problem with socialized medicine and the seiu.
      The future depends on what you do today.- Gandhi


        Since you have attempted to work with the care agency without success, you need to go over their head to report this and request a resolution to the problem.

        Perhaps your doctor's office knows where to report this.

        Or, as Koko suggested, maybe the MS society of Canada can direct you where to make a report.
        ~ Faith
        MSWorld Volunteer -- Moderator since JUN2012
        (now a Mimibug)

        Symptoms began in JAN02
        - Dx with RRMS in OCT03, following 21 months of limbo, ruling out lots of other dx, and some "probable stroke" and "probable CNS" dx for awhile.
        - In 2008, I was back in limbo briefly, then re-dx w/ MS: JUL08

        - Betaseron NOV03-AUG08; Copaxone20 SEPT08-APR15; Copaxone40 APR15-present
        - Began receiving SSDI / LTD NOV08. Not employed. I volunteer in my church and community.


          Has someone from worksafe actually came and inspected your sit stand lift ? It could be that they are using worksafe for an excuse / reason not to perform a certain task. If it is putting some one at risk either them or you then you will just have to do things differently. Iím sorry to hear that things are difficult. Wishing you all the best
          It was one agains't 2.5million toughest one we ever fought.


            Your story brought me to tears. This doesnít have anything to do with socialized medicine. Her agency is contracted out to a private company. I hear these same kinds of stories coming just a few miles south of Vancouver across the border. Abuse of elderly and disabled people runs deep in western culture.

            I made a commitment to myself that I would never go into one of those facilities. In the US they are called assisted living. You pay $3000/month to rent one of their apartments and still have to pay for all of your caregivers, house cleaning and food. People sell their houses and the money all goes to the facility. When the money runs out I donít know what happens. But you lose control of every aspect of your life. I met one woman living in one of those places who had just sought out a doctor who provides death with dignity because it is legal in my state. Thatís how desperate, helpless and hopeless she felt.

            I wish I knew the anwer for you. I would be willing to try to find out. I would write every government official including Trudeau.

            I will research it and if I find out anything I will let you know. In the meantime, as soon as they leave the room, stand on the bed to keep your kegs strong. You can do push-ups on the wall to keep your balance. You can do leg raises, crunches and any other exercise you possibly can to keep strong. Donít give up. We will get you help.


              My Mistake


              Vancouver Coastal Health is a government agency.

              However, the system isnít that different in the US. Unless you are very wealthy and can purchase long term care insurance or pay out of pocket you will have all your Social Security seized and rely on Medicaid.

              My neighbor who was working in one of those facilities said the only people who get care and nutricious food are the ones whose families pay the caregivers under the table.

              If your husband is still living in the house the
              State takes the house.

              Anyway I am going to seriously search for options for you and I will help you write letters because I know how tedious can be.


                I watched a video of the stand to lift device. It is amazing. I would like to have one. I can also stand but getting up is really hard.
                They are expensive. We donít have any coverage for things like that unless you have Cadallac health insurance.

                So far this is what I have come up with for you.

                ARCH A Legal resource for people with disabilities

                BC Centre for Elder Advocacy and Support (BC CEAS)
                411 Dunsmuir Street
                Vancouver, BC V6B 1X4
                Phone: 604-437-1940 or til free: 1-866-437-1940

                More later fatigue is setting in. To clarify what I was saying before. The Vancouver Health Authority is a government agency that is contracting to a private company. Since the Health Authority oversees the facility and they are not helping you they are responsible.

                BYW: Do you personally think this is happening as a result of nationalized health insurance?


                  Have you found anyone to help you? I would make calls personally but it is long distance to call internationally.

                  I really hope you get the help you deserve. It sounds like this is your own personal device and they arenít will into let you use it.

                  Are there doctors overseeing patients in your situation? In the US the doctors usually call the shots.

                  I am praying for you.