The province’s announcement to cut 26 full-time positions from palliative care, health and home care programs has affected Mikulak and her family’s outlook. Shelagh’s husband says he believes Alberta Health Services made a mistake. Although, Alberta Health Minister Fred Horne disputes the fact that these cuts will result in any changes to the provision of in-home care. Horne explains that the cuts are about using assets like people and money more effectively to deliver the same programs. For example, Horne explains that Alberta Health Services will begin to use licensed practical nurses (LPN) to do some in-home care work. This a change that Mikulak and her husband see as problematic as he predicts that the experienced registered practical nurses (RPN) they currently work with will be replaced with LPNs who he says have little to no knowledge of palliative care. Ulimately, while Mikulak says she is “OK with dying”, she also emphasizes that she wants to know that her family has sufficient support to keep her in the comfort of her home and out of the emergency room.
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