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Family of Saskatoon man with Down syndrome fighting to keep him out of locked long-term care ward

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Cory Kadlec has Down syndrome. He was living in a care home, but in June he was taken to Royal University Hospital because he was having seizures.

That was eight months ago, and he hasn’t left the hospital yet.

His sister Tara Jo Kadlec, based in Calgary, can’t figure our why he’s still there. Their nightly phone calls are filled with tears of frustration.

Kadlec captured video of her phone conversations to post on Facebook in hopes of showing others how dire the situation is.

“It’s been a constant fight for everything,” Kadlec told CTV News.

She says Cory’s still at RUH because care can’t be found for his complex needs, and his family is fighting to keep him out of the Parkridge Centre.

A LOCKED LONG-TERM CARE WARD

“They’re wanting to shove him into a locked ward. My brother has a life. He can have conversations with you, about movies and, hell, ask you questions. He wants to get to know you. He’s not long-term care material,” she said.

That locked ward is where level two dementia patients are living, she says.

“He can’t go in there. I cried after I left there. Cory will not come out of there alive. His mental state will decline so rapidly; he will cause himself another stroke. He will never come out,” Kadlec said after visiting the home with his father.

Cory Kadlec

She says she wants him to go to a place where he feels, “safe in his body and his mind.”

“Safety in terms of — he gets to do what he wants, and feels safe, safe, safe,” she says.

Kadlec wants people to know who her brother is.

He loves all things dinosaurs and asked for a Jurassic Park cake for his birthday. He loves burgers and being on his dad’s farm near Davidson.

Cory is diabetic and requires up to six needles a day. His family can’t currently meet those needs, although they are trying to arrange funding for home care.

Kadlec is taking it upon herself to advocate for her brother. She feels the Saskatchewan health care system is failing him.

She considered taking him to Alberta with her, but the rest of the family is in Saskatchewan, along with his friends, and he might not understand the transition.

MATCHING PATIENT NEEDS 'WITH THE CARE OPTIONS AVAILABLE': SHA

The Saskatchewan Health Authority said they can’t speak to specific cases, but offered a statement.

“When considering the best approach to patient care, the SHA weighs all patient care needs and best matches the individual’s needs – both medical and social, in the case of long-term care or community living placement – with the care options available.”

That doesn’t help according to Kadlec, who says the system in Saskatchewan is failing patients.

Bob Martinook, director of community living service delivery with the Ministry of Social Services said developing a support structure for clients is an ongoing process.

“We want Cory Kadlec and his family to know we understand their concerns and are here as a support. We take a person-centred approach to work collaboratively with persons with intellectual disabilities through assessment, analysis and planning to identify their service needs and develop person-centred supports. Planning with the person is an ongoing process, with regular reviews to ensure appropriate supports are being provided. We use this same process when an individual may be transitioning to or from a variety of different settings, including health facilities.”

In the meantime, in an attempt to make Cory feel more at home in the stark hospital bed, his sister says they’ve put up posters in the room to make him feel more comfortable and less agitated.

Kadlec says it’s difficult for her brother to comprehend why this is happening and those daily phone calls aren’t getting any easier. 

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