Olds parent of disabled boy says provincial funding for home supports is inadequate

Nicole Daugherty’s son needs 24/7 care

The mother of a severely disabled six-year-old boy says she’s tired of fighting the government for the care her son needs.

Nicole Daugherty, of Olds, already stays up many nights with her son, Izrahia, who suffered serious brain injuries at birth and needs 24/7 supervision.

Although born with normal intelligence, the boy has seizures, lacks fine motor skills, is vision impaired and can’t swallow.

Daugherty needs a care assistant to spend every night at her house to clear Izrahia’s airways while he’s sleeping. The mother can then get some sleep herself and be alert enough help look after him in the mornings, after school and evenings.

If his airways aren’t suctioned of secretions, Izrahia can develop a form of pneumonia, said Daugherty, who would also like help for a few hours on a weekend, “so we can spend time together as a family.”

The homemaker’s partner works as a janitor. Sanitizing her son’s medical equipment and taking care of his various medical needs leaves little time for them to read to her son, or taking him out into the community, said Daugherty.

The Central Alberta mother has had trouble hiring and keeping staff – and she said it’s because the amount provided for home support by Family Supports for Children With Disabilities (FSCD) is inadequate.

She initially received $10 per/hr. This was gradually raised – after much pushing by Daugherty over the years – to $28 per/hr, but still falls far short of the $35 per/hr a Red Deer nursing agency charges to send staff to Olds.

Daugherty said she hires inexperienced helpers and trains them herself, but has faced high turnover, as people leave for better paying jobs. The helpers only get about $23 per/hr out of the $28 after taxes and administrative expenses – and one of them is driving to Olds from Calgary.

“I’m frustrated and it’s tiring … I would really like to spend more time with my son instead of battling for what I need, (in getting help) with his cleaning and meds,” said Daugherty.

Samantha Power, press secretary for the Minister of Community and Social Services, said the department is “dedicated to ensuring families are supported in finding the right services to promote their child’s healthy development and participation in activities … regardless of where they live in the province.”

Information provided by Power states FSCD is designed to respond to a child and family’s unique needs, “so families can negotiate the type, amount and level of supports provided to them, annually, and at any time their needs change.”

On the question of whether “negotiating” can feel to some parents like fighting to get what their child needs, Power said ministry staff have been in contact with this family and are “actively working through ways to ensure they have the support they need.”

Just Posted

Byemoor Santa Claus day a success

Sleigh rides around town

Getting your passport has been made easier

Government of Canada doubles number of locations where Canadians can get their passports

Our Town Stettler

A view from the water tower

Empty vessels make the most noise

Where have all the manners gone?

Stettler provincial court briefs

Full docket with everything from sexual assault and aggravated assault to death threats and theft

VIDEO: Ex-NASA engineer pranks mail thieves with glitter bomb trap

Package thefts are common this time of year, but YouTuber Mark Rober used his engineering skills

CSIS collected info on peaceful groups, but only in pursuit of threats: watchdog

Security Intelligence Review Committee says fears unjustified after reviewing evidence, testimony

Canada ranks 16th on annual gender gap list

This is the second year Canada has placed 16th in the World Economic Forum’s list

Privacy watchdog says legal cannabis buyers should use cash, not credit

Some countries could bar entry to individuals if they know they have purchased cannabis

‘A start:’ Alberta critical of Ottawa’s $1.6B package for ailing energy sector

A further $150 million is to be used for clean growth and infrastructure projects

Two-year-old attacked by cougar near Mission, B.C.

Boy not seriously injured in incident on Monday afternoon

Trump signs order to create US Space Command

President Donald Trump signs an executive order to create a U.S. Space Command.

Groups preparing new pipeline legal challenge, argue government’s mind made up

A Vancouver-based environment charity is readying itself to go back to court if the federal government reapproves the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion.

Notorious Toronto triple killer gets third consecutive life sentence

Dellen Millard gets third consecutive life sentence for father’s death.

Most Read