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Saskatoon care homes may 'chemically manage' residents with drugs, auditor finds


The majority of Saskatoon special care homes may be "chemically" managing residents with anti-psychotic drugs, an independent audit found.

Saskatchewan's provincial auditor Tara Clemett found 13 of the 15 special care homes in the Saskatoon area had residents taking anti-psychotic drugs with no formal diagnosis.

"Which is often an indicator that special care home staff chemically manage their homes' residents," Clemett wrote in her report, released on Wednesday.

The audit also found five out of the 15 special care homes are using "daily physical restraints" on their residents.

The auditor made recommendations about how to improve the care homes in 2017 and 2019, but Clemett found they "continue to not meet performance measure targets."

"There is the potential that the care homes are giving these to residents to obviously keep them in a rather calm state," Clemett told CTV News.

"It's obviously concerning, whereby you have these measures and targets at private special care homes and they're not being met. This could impact the quality of life for the residents in these care homes," Clemett said.

The report found results worsened, since 2019, for three measures: residents in daily physical restraints, use of anti-psychotics and newly-occurring pressure ulcers.

The audit found nine of the 15 care homes did not meet the target for minimizing pressure ulcers, also known as bedsores.

The special care homes in Saskatoon are privately owned and contracted by the Saskatchewan Health Authority (SHA). The homes, which include locations in Dalmeny, Langham and Warman, are designed to provide 24-hour care to people who can no longer care for themselves.

In the past year, the 15 special care home contracts cost the SHA $99.2 million.

The SHA and private owners of the care homes are creating a new contract, set to be complete by March 2024. The auditor says the new contracts will clarify the service expectations and accountability. Top Stories

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