Senior care homes, COVID-19: death and working conditions

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NDPP

Family Reeling as Senior Dies of Malnutrition Not COVID-19

https://twitter.com/CBCQueensPark/status/1271130089279885318

"Pietro Bruccoleri died late last month at an embattled Ontario long-term care home where 23 seniors have succumbed to COVID-19, but it wasn't the virus that killed him - it was exhaustion caused by malnutrition. 'We did not expect the neglect,' said his oldest daughter Rina Di Silva, 55..."

Doing a great job Ontario. Just think of all the pension money saved!

NDPP

"Imagine you work at a LTC home as a PSW. You feel sick and are told to 'isolate at home.' You are a single parent/sole earner caring for your parents and kids in one apartment. What will you do? How would you protect your family from COVID? Ontario government needs to invest in support."

https://twitter.com/drwarner/status/1271431141896192001

NDPP

Quebec Coroner's Office Orders Public Inquiry into COVID-19 Deaths in Long-Term Care Homes

https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/montreal/coroner-public-inquiry-covid-19-...

"Quebec's chief coroner has ordered a wide-ranging public inquiry into deaths that have occurred in the province's long-term care homes, private seniors' residences and other residential institutions for vulnerable people over the first six weeks of the COVID-19 pandemic. More than 60% of the province's COVID-19 deaths have occurred in public or private long-term care homes. Quebec's chief coroner Pascale Descary said the investigation will be totally public, from beginning  to end...."

Unlike Ontario.

NDPP

Former Ontario Premier Mike Harris is Raking in Profits from the Long-Term Care Home System He Helped Create

https://t.co/x04vXoQWP1

"...Under the Harris government, the growing corporate business of caring for seniors flourished and corporate players such as Sienna Senior Living, Revera, Extendicare, and Chartwell expanded their reach. Now, in the middle of a global pandemic, the country is witnessing the true vulnerability of seniors in long-term care homes. To date, more than 8,000 people have died from COVID-19 in Canada. More than 6,800 of them - 83 per cent - have died in these homes..."

No wonder Doug Ford wants his own hand-picked inquiry process.

NDPP

LISTEN: "The Ontario government is considering  a move to grant organizations and people immunity from some COVID-19 lawsuits. Families suing long-term care homes fear it could make accountability that much harder to come by."

https://www.cbc.ca/radio/thecurrent/the-current-for-june-22-2020-1.5622150

jerrym

On the CBC National News last night it was noted that Canada is spending one third less than the other developed countries on long term countries. When this fact is combined with the privatization of senior care in much of Canada resulting in the focus being on profits at the expense of spending on care and the related lack of long term care home inspections, it is not surprising that Canada leads the world by a wide margin in having 81% of  all of its Covid-19 deaths ocuring in these homes. The entire system needs funding and de-privatization. 

kropotkin1951

jerrym wrote:

On the CBC National News last night it was noted that Canada is spending one third less than the other developed countries on long term countries. When this fact is combined with the privatization of senior care in much of Canada resulting in the focus being on profits at the expense of spending on care and the related lack of long term care home inspections, it is not surprising that Canada leads the world by a wide margin in having 81% of  all of its Covid-19 deaths ocuring in these homes. The entire system needs funding and de-privatization. 

Defunding is good for all private operators. However I would far prefer to see seniors treated with dignity by giving them the resources to be able to pay for the care that we all know is required. Imagine a world were the OAS is $2000 a month and all seniors could think about coops and other arrangements that are resident controlled and operated.

jerrym

kropotkin1951 wrote:

jerrym wrote:

On the CBC National News last night it was noted that Canada is spending one third less than the other developed countries on long term countries. When this fact is combined with the privatization of senior care in much of Canada resulting in the focus being on profits at the expense of spending on care and the related lack of long term care home inspections, it is not surprising that Canada leads the world by a wide margin in having 81% of  all of its Covid-19 deaths ocuring in these homes. The entire system needs funding and de-privatization. 

Defunding is good for all private operators. However I would far prefer to see seniors treated with dignity by giving them the resources to be able to pay for the care that we all know is required. Imagine a world were the OAS is $2000 a month and all seniors could think about coops and other arrangements that are resident controlled and operated.

I agree although there does come a point in some senior's lifes when they cannot take care of themselves and home care visits are not enough. 

jerrym

double post

NDPP

Canada's COVID-19 Deaths in LTC Double the Average of Other Countries

https://twitter.com/CBCTheNational/status/1276258546670276611

"Long term care residents make up 81 per cent of all reported COVID-19 deaths in Canada compared to an average of 43 per cent among all countries studied."

Unfortunately, there seems relatively little concern by Canadians at this appalling eldercide and lack of care.

NDPP

There's No Quick Post-Pandemic Fix for Canada's Long Term Care Facilities, Say Experts

http://newsletters.cbc.ca/q/17GvfDCEOc0A8cpj1Jnyrh/wv

"The novel coronavirus exploited a weakness in Canadian society - the country's tendency to warehouse its elderly in poorly supervised long-term care homes. The results, say experts, were completely predictable..."

kropotkin1951

jerrym wrote:

kropotkin1951 wrote:

jerrym wrote:

On the CBC National News last night it was noted that Canada is spending one third less than the other developed countries on long term countries. When this fact is combined with the privatization of senior care in much of Canada resulting in the focus being on profits at the expense of spending on care and the related lack of long term care home inspections, it is not surprising that Canada leads the world by a wide margin in having 81% of  all of its Covid-19 deaths ocuring in these homes. The entire system needs funding and de-privatization. 

Defunding is good for all private operators. However I would far prefer to see seniors treated with dignity by giving them the resources to be able to pay for the care that we all know is required. Imagine a world were the OAS is $2000 a month and all seniors could think about coops and other arrangements that are resident controlled and operated.

I agree although there does come a point in some senior's lifes when they cannot take care of themselves and home care visits are not enough. 

Of course some seniors are going to need more care than others at different times in their lives. My Mom was in a Legion facility that had a long term care wing for those that needed that level of care but most of the buildings were one bedroom apartments. When she moved in she made all her own food except on nights she wanted to go down to the caferteria. In her last few months after she turned ninety staff dropped by three or four times a day to check up on her. She never had to move her care level just increased as she aged and her health problems increased. We have the models of care what we don't have is the models to fund them.

I am pretty typical senior and I receive under $1300 a month for CPP and OAS. People who also get the GIS do not have enough financial resources to have any say in the type of housing and care they will receive. So instead of the $613 that OAS currently hands out it should be $2000 and leave the CPP intact.

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

..the senior's complex i'm in provides an interesting model. it took me almost 3 yrs (waiting list) to get into the place and it has a great reputation. i lucked out!

..there are 3 bldgs. one of them you need to be on a food program. the cost for that program is around $200 a mon for 2 meals a day. cost will be going up later this year. the rents are somewhat reasonable so that helps. the food prep is all in house and the meals are quite good. more subsidies would certainly help as would an increase in pensions.

..those in the 2nd bldg, my bldg, can also be on that food program if they choose. there is a tunnel between the 2 bldgs so you never have to go outside. my neighbour had a stroke a while ago. some of her memory has yet to return, the stove was removed from her place for safety reasons. she gets around ok on her own and uses the food program. 

..i see support staff moving through my bldg all the time. dispensing meds and providing various services to various clients. they travel through both blds and possibly the 3rd one which is a nursing home. so economies of scale apply.    

..i have to say, as a working class stiff, it ain't a bad place to be in when life is winding down. even though i'm still able to live independently the services i see all around me are a huge comfort. 

NDPP

Seniors Who Survived COVID Now At Risk From Lack of Air Conditioning in Long Term Care Homes

https://www.thestar.com/news/canada/2020/07/08/seniors-who-survived-covi...

"Ontario advocates warning that seniors already preyed upon by COVID-19 will continue dying - not from COVID but from the heat - unless the government mandates air-conditioning in residents' rooms. Extendicare isn't providing even fans for residents..."

Notwithstanding Canadians' obvious and longstanding tolerance of official elder-abuse and death by negligence, all such facilities must come under government control and minimal humane standards. What a shocking and shameful ongoing atrocity.

NDPP

Canada Not Ready For Second Wave of COVID-19, Senate Committee Says

https://www.ctvnews.ca/politics/canada-not-ready-for-second-wave-of-covi...

"A new report from a committee of senators says the country is ill-prepared to handle a second wave of COVID-19. The Senate's social affairs committee says the federal government needs to pay urgent attention to seniors in long-term care homes where outbreaks and deaths in the pandemic have been concentrated. There are also concerns in the report about the vulnerability of low-income seniors should there be a second wave of the novel coronavirus later this year..."

NDPP

Why is Ontario Still Torturing Residents of Long Term Care Homes? (radio)

https://www.cbc.ca/listen/live-radio/1-39-metro-morning/clip/15786318-lo...

"Long-term care during the pandemic: no air conditioning makes matters worse."

 

Despite empty words from politicians the eldercide continues. Why? Your inaction.

[email protected]

Aristotleded24
NDPP

They did. By all accounts it was well known. Numerous reports on all its frailties. Over and over again. Governments knew but did nothing. I consider it a serious criminal matter.

laine lowe laine lowe's picture

Alarm bells were raised as far back as the 1980s when I was in school and the issue of how maltreated elders were in these facilities was of serious concern. The concept of north american society warehousing their elders stretches back a long way.

Aristotleded24

As my link shows, it's too bad that there weren't any politicians who tried to raise the alarm and take action on the problem. Oh.

Even more maddening in retrospect that the provincial election focused on faith based schools at the expense of issues facing everyday people, including elder care.

jerrym

The Ontario Registered Nurses Association no longer supports the Ford government’s independent commission into long-term care homes because it will drag out changes that need to occur now, namely increased staffing and PPE. 

The CEO of Ontario’s professional nursing association says she no longer supports the Ford government’s independent commission into long-term care homes, saying it will lead to more political foot-dragging and inaction.

Doris Grinspun, chief executive officer of the Registered Nurses’ Association of Ontario, said the government should instead focus on increasing staffing and ensuring a six-month supply of personal protective equipment or PPE in homes, as the province prepares for a second wave of the novel coronavirus.

“Everything we need to know about this pandemic, what we did right and what we did wrong, we already know,” Ms. Grinspun, a health policy expert who has held the position since 1996, said in an interview. What we need now is sincere, fast and funded action.”

In addition to hiring more nurses and personal support workers, the RNAO, which represents 44,000 registered nurses, nurse practitioners and students, has for years been calling for each resident to receive four hours a day of personal and nursing care. The organization says each home should have a nurse practitioner per 120 residents, as well as a nurse who specializes in infection control on site. Ms. Grinspun also said families should also be allowed back into homes to care for their loved ones even during outbreaks, which she said will prevent malnutrition, dehydration and loneliness.

“I’m not sure what we are going to discover in the commission. We are going to point fingers. But what seniors and what families need, and quite frankly what homes and staff need, is not pointing fingers. It’s acting on solutions now,” she said.

Premier Doug Ford said Friday that details of the commission, which is supposed to start this month, will be revealed in the next week or so. Some labour leaders and critics, including the NDP, have called for a full-scale public inquiry into the tragedy in nursing homes, where more than 1,800 residents have died.

The Ministry of Long-Term Care is also set to release a report on July 31 about staffing levels, which the government has said will inform a “comprehensive staffing strategy” to be implemented by the end of the year. That staffing study, led by an expert panel, was among the recommendations made by Justice Eileen Gillese in her inquiry into serial killer Elizabeth Wettlaufer, a former nurse who killed eight nursing home patients. That inquiry took two years to complete and a final report was released last July.

https://www.theglobeandmail.com/canada/article-ceo-of-the-registered-nur...

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

..deaths by facility in canada

Link

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

The coronavirus exposes the perils of profit in seniors’ housing

In May 2020, Orchard Villa, a long-term care home in Pickering, Ont., made headlines for a bad COVID-19 outbreak. Just two months into Ontario’s lockdown, 77 patients in the 233-bed home had died.

A report by Canada’s military revealed horrifying conditions, short staffing and neglect. Some family members blamed for-profit ownership, arguing that COVID-19 had simply exposed, in tragic fashion, the impact of prioritizing profits in the operation of seniors housing.

Notably, Orchard Villa had been purchased in 2015 by private equity firm Southbridge Capital, adding it to Canada’s growing stock of “financialized” seniors’ housing — bought by financial firms as an investment product.

This has followed the trend of what’s known as financialization in the global economy, in which finance has come to dominate in the operations of capitalism, prioritizing investor profits over social, environmental and other goals. In seniors’ housing, financialization has arguably intensified the profit-seeking approach of private owners, with harmful outcomes for residents and workers alike.

Grey wave

Seniors’ housing includes both government-subsidized long-term care (LTC) homes (nursing homes), and “private-pay” retirement living. Canada’s population is aging, with a so-called grey wave predicted to require 240,000 new spaces by 2046.

Industry experts call this “a rising tide that can’t be denied.” Investors are rushing to get on board, both with LTCs, where long waiting lists and government funding ensure steady income, and with retirement living — where hospitality services (housekeeping, laundry, meals) and private-pay health-care services can drive rents as high as $7,000 a month.

Financial operators have spent two decades consolidating ownership of Canadian seniors housing. These operators include Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs), institutional investors and private equity firms.

In 1997, the first seniors housing REIT launched with 12 homes. What followed was a consolidation frenzy and the rise of financial firms like Chartwell, Sienna, Revera, Extendicare, Amica, Verve and others. By 2020, financial firms controlled about 28 per cent of seniors housing in Canada, including 17 per cent of LTCs and 38 per cent of retirement homes.

American owners

Ownership has also become international. Today, Canada’s biggest owners are the largest health-care REITS in the United States.

Ventas REIT and Welltower REIT entered Canada in 2007 and 2012, and have amassed major interests in 36,792 suites (225 homes). Canada has also seen a surge in U.S.-based private equity ownership by firms that recognize similarities between our private-pay retirement sector and privatized health care south of the border.

They are eager to capitalize on the growing number of seniors on LTC waiting lists who require care and are forced into private-pay retirement living.....

NDPP

Unions Continue To Raise Alarm Bells in LTC

https://seiuhealthcare.ca/unions-continue-to-raise-alarm-bells-in-long-t...

"Unions representing healthcare workers across Ontario held a press conference urging immediate action to end the crisis in long-term care. CUPE Ontario, SEIU Healthcare and Unifor, unions which collectively represent more than 70,000 long-term care workers, are condemning the inaction of the Gov of Ontario and raising concerns about the significant uptick in cases of COVID-19.

The unions also made the case for an end to for-profit care, noting that these facilities have seen the highest number of cases. 'No more hollow words. Frontline workers are tired of empty promises..."

NDPP

Legal Challenges Against the For-Profit LTC Industry and Ford Government About Deaths and Negligence

https://twitter.com/OntarioHealthC/status/1306264334717382656

"We have found more than 2 dozen legal actions as a result of the deaths and negligence in LTC in the 1st wave of COVID-19 in Ont including class action suits, an injuction, a request for criminal investigation, and several statements of claim. Briefing note."

NDPP

Care Not Profits

https://carenotprofits.ca

"Demand change for Long-Term Care!" (Sign letter)

jerrym

New information shows that, like the Trump administration in the US, the Ford government knew about Covid-19 in January and was warned to prepare the long-term care homes for the coming crisis but did very little until it implemented a action plan three months later to deal with the problem, and only after the hospital situation was stabilized. This once again illustrates the marginalization of the elderly because of social attitudes towards them and because they no longer part of the workforce. 

 Ontario’s Progressive Conservative government was urged to prepare the province’s long-term care homes for COVID-19 as early as January, three months before the government implemented an action plan to slow the spread of the virus.

The revelation came during testimony by the Ontario Long Term Care Association (OLTCA) to the commission of inquiry, which is investigating how the pandemic was able to ravage the province’s nursing homes, taking more than 1,900 lives. 

During the Sept. 30 appearance at the commission, OLTCA CEO Donna Duncan testified that her “first communication in writing” to the Ford government came around Jan. 25, after seeing news reports from European countries which were struggling to contain the virus. 

“We were concerned about our readiness,” Duncan told the three-member panel led by Associate Chief Justice Frank Marrocco. 

Duncan told the panel that long-term care homes were already “facing a perfect storm” as COVID-19 crept into Ontario thanks to chronic staffing shortages, at-capacity homes with four-bed rooms and funding cuts by the Ford government which led to in-facility pharmacies withdrawing their personnel. 

The World Health Organization officially declared the COVID-19 outbreak as a pandemic on March 11.

Duncan told the commission that after sending the January letter the government began to “mobilize” in February, but the true help came once the province realized that hospitals in Ontario were being spared the brunt of the first wave of COVID-19. ...

“We were concerned about our readiness,” Duncan told the three-member panel led by Associate Chief Justice Frank Marrocco. 

Duncan told the panel that long-term care homes were already “facing a perfect storm” as COVID-19 crept into Ontario thanks to chronic staffing shortages, at-capacity homes with four-bed rooms and funding cuts by the Ford government which led to in-facility pharmacies withdrawing their personnel. 

The World Health Organization officially declared the COVID-19 outbreak as a pandemic on March 11.

Duncan told the commission that after sending the January letter the government began to “mobilize” in February, but the true help came once the province realized that hospitals in Ontario were being spared the brunt of the first wave of COVID-19. 

On Apr. 15, Premier Doug Ford announced an action plan for the province’s 630 long-term care homes which focused on aggressive testing, outbreak management and ensuring homes were prioritized for personal protective equipment. 

While the plan helped to immediately stabilize the situation in the hardest-hit homes, the damage to the province’s most vulnerable population had already been done. 

“Out of all the deaths in long-term care to date … half of them occurred before April 15th,” Duncan told the commission. “Where we saw the worst of this, it really was in that period before the action plan.” ...

As Ontario enters the second wave of COVID-19, Commissioner Marrocco suggested that the commission might issue a report sooner rather than later, giving the government the opportunity to address the issues in long-term care in real time.

“Typically a commission is set up to look back in time at something that happened because the public want[s] to know what happened,” Marrocco told the OLTCA. “This is a little different because it's still happening.”

https://toronto.ctvnews.ca/ford-government-was-warned-in-january-about-p...

Aristotleded24

This news out of New Brunswick:

Quote:

An outbreak has been declared at a Moncton special care home after two residents tested positive for COVID-19, New Brunswick's chief medical health officer announced Tuesday afternoon.

The residents of Manoir Notre Dame are between 70 and 79 and 80 and 89, Dr. Jennifer Russell said at a news conference. Russell described them as in "stable" condition.

Russell said contact tracing is underway to understand how the residents became infected. 

"We don't have any more information about how it got there at this time," Russell said. 

A mass-testing team was at the Moncton home and those who may have been infected are being isolated, Premier Blaine Higgs said.

Russell said some staff members have reported COVID-19-like symptoms. 

"We are deeply concerned for the remaining 110 residents and 56 staff," Russell said.

Note that this is in a jurisdiction which had practically elminated covid, and they are still dealing with it in their care homes. That's an alarm bell worth listening to.

Aristotleded24

And it gets worse:

Quote:

Officials reported 17 new cases of COVID-19 in New Brunswick on Wednesday, the province's largest single-day increase since late March, triggering efforts to contain an outbreak centred at a special care home in Moncton.

Dr. Jennifer Russell, the province's chief medical officer of health, said all of the new cases are in the Moncton health zone and connected to the Manoir Notre-Dame special care home, where an outbreak was declared Tuesday.

Russell said 13 residents, four staff and two family members have tested positive for the coronavirus. The first two cases were announced Tuesday. Two residents are in hospital in what she described as stable condition.

Russell said the source of the outbreak remains under investigation.

"This is definitely a wake-up call," Premier Blaine Higgs said at a COVID-19 briefing Wednesday.

Wake-up call? Mr. Higgs, have you been asleep at the switch this entire time? We knew early on that this virus would be especially bad for the elderly. How were you not able to protect this care home? With this outbreak happening in a province that had practically eliminated covid, are there any take-aways about the viability of a complete supression strategy, or about how more targeted measures need to be taken?

Aristotleded24

Meanwhile here in Winnipeg (emphasis mine):

Quote:

The most recent provincial inspection of the personal care home at the centre of Manitoba's deadliest outbreak of COVID-19 found big concerns with cleanliness and infection control, including evidence of cockroaches and filthy washrooms that smelled of urine.

While the review found Parkview Place personal care home met every standard and passed its licensing inspection, it issued a separate notice to highlight significant issues with the "state of repair, cleanliness and sanitation practices."

The latest report, disclosed to CBC News by Revera — the private for-profit company that owns the home  — found similar problems uncovered in a surprise inspection of Parkview Place performed by provincial licensing officials in 2017.

The report, based on an inspection performed just days before the pandemic was declared, described lapses that can result in infection.

...

he March 9 and 10 biennial inspection of Parkview looked at 12 preset standards, including use of restraints, pharmacy services and disaster management.

It passed every single standard review. 

It was under the safety and security standards section that reviewers noted infection control issues. 

They found:

  • Numerous washrooms in need of attention in their flooring, undersized toilets and a strong smell of urine.
  • Cockroach issues dating back to 2018, based on a review of exterminator reports.
  • Outstanding repairs recommended to prevent insects from getting into the kitchen were not completed.
  • High surfaces in kitchen including top of range hood over cook stoves found to have very heavy grease-laden dust.
  • Numerous cracks, gaps and missing baseboards which provided a collection point for dirt.
  • Damaged drywall.
  • A need for "greater attention to high-level cleaning is required."

The inspectors wrote that an addendum was attached to the report that "further detailed" the issues, but the attachment was not provided to CBC.

Maybe they need to look at their standards a little more carefully.

jerrym

Aristotleded24]</p> <p><a href="https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/manitoba/parkview-place-cockroaches-revera-cameron-friesen-wrha-inspections-1.5767317">Meanwhile here in Winnipeg (emphasis mine):</a></p> <p>[quote wrote:

The latest report, disclosed to CBC News by Revera — the private for-profit company that owns the home  — found similar problems uncovered in a surprise inspection of Parkview Place performed by provincial licensing officials in 2017.

The report, based on an inspection performed just days before the pandemic was declared, described lapses that can result in infection.

The low wages, poor working conditions and poor living conditions in the private sector care homes across Canada show that this needs to be run by the public sector because elderly people's lives depend on good living conditions and not just during the Covid pandemic.  Workers in this sector deserve a living wage and decent conditions as do all workers, but, in addition, because of the importance of this work. The invisibility of this sector to the rest of society must end with a system set up to report problems that is outside governments that can be compromised on this issue because of donations from private care home owners. 

Aristotleded24

jerrym]</p> <p>[quote=Aristotleded24 wrote:

Meanwhile here in Winnipeg (emphasis mine):

Quote:

The latest report, disclosed to CBC News by Revera — the private for-profit company that owns the home  — found similar problems uncovered in a surprise inspection of Parkview Place performed by provincial licensing officials in 2017.

The report, based on an inspection performed just days before the pandemic was declared, described lapses that can result in infection.

The low wages, poor working conditions and poor living conditions in the private sector care homes across Canada show that this needs to be run by the public sector because elderly people's lives depend on good living conditions and not just during the Covid pandemic.  Workers in this sector deserve a living wage and decent conditions as do all workers, but, in addition, because of the importance of this work. The invisibility of this sector to the rest of society must end with a system set up to report problems that is outside governments that can be compromised on this issue because of donations from private care home owners. 

Not to mention the lives of the staff who are in close contact with the residents.

NDPP

Top 30 Ontario LTC Homes With Most Reported Violations

https://www.cbc.ca/news/marketplace/ontario-care-homes-violates-seniors-...

"85% of Ont nursing homes break the law repeatedly with almost no consequences, data analysis shows."

This is clear criminal neglect and a derelection of duty by the provincial government authority which has long been the case. Why are Ontarians apparently quite content to let the province murder their elderly in LTC homes ?

[email protected]

Pondering

 There are a few things that can be done immediately. All temp workers must be offered full time permanent positions immediately. 

PPEs must be available to patients and visitors so seniors need not be so isolated. 

Rules must be posted so visitors can see if the home isn't following them.

Depending on severity of infraction there should be a response within 24 hrs to a week. 

X number of infractions and the home is repossessed at fair market value for the building and land, not the business. It goes under temporary guardianship. First option explored should be worker owned cooperative. I'm sure there are organizations ready and willing to help workers organize. 

Worker owned homes would be much better operated than government owned because workers care about their working conditions and like anyeone else wants to feel like they are doing a good job.

NDPP

Good points.

jerrym

In September lon-term (LTC) workers and their unions warned that the Ford Ontario government needs to fix the enormouns problems in LTC homes before an expected resurgence of Covid-19, including ending private LTC. This month that resurgence has just started what is expected to be a long fall-winter upward zoom in infections in seniors and workers in such facilities,  where ""Some cry before starting their shifts. Some resort to praying. They're afraid of getting their residents sick. They're afraid of contracting the virus themselves. They're afraid of bringing it home to their families. They're afraid of blame," Candace Rennick, secretary-treasurer of CUPE Ontario, said.

Personal support workers and their unions are calling on the province to fix problems in long-term care homes now before an expected resurgence of COVID-19 cases this fall.

Representatives of CUPE Ontario, SEIU Healthcare and Unifor said on Monday that the homes need adequate funding, increases in staffing to ensure there are "realistic" ratios of workers to residents, and sufficient supplies of personal protective equipment.

Candace Rennick, secretary-treasurer of CUPE Ontario, which represents nearly 35,000 workers, told reporters in an online news conference the provincial government must "step up."

The homes are not equipped to deal with an expected second wave of the novel coronavirus and residents and staff members are at risk of losing their lives, she said.

"The situation at the bedside is only going to get worse until we see concrete measures to address it. You cannot pretend that care levels will increase without a comprehensive staffing strategy and funding commitment," Rennick added.

Rennick said long-term care workers are afraid when they report to work.

"Some cry before starting their shifts. Some resort to praying. They're afraid of getting their residents sick. They're afraid of contracting the virus themselves. They're afraid of bringing it home to their families. They're afraid of blame," she said. ...

Sharleen Stewart, president of SEIU Healthcare, called for an end to for-profit care. She said the province is not holding companies accountable for failures in the system. She said the long-term care homes are in worse shape today than they were before the pandemic.

Stewart said for-profit homes have 17 per cent fewer staff, pay their workers less and had worse outcomes in the pandemic than non-profit or municipally run homes. She said Chartwell, Sienna and Extendicare dominate the system in Ontario. 

"We have no time to spare," Stewart said.

"Workers, elder care experts, seniors, and families alike are singing the same tune. They all want increased staffing levels for better senior care. They all want full-time jobs for our health-care workers. Yes, heroes," she said.

Stewart said PSWs should have a universal wage rate.

"Give them a raise and give them a pension. These essential policies are not items on a menu to be picked over and the rest discarded. They add up to a real action plan to fix Ontario's failed long-term care system." ...

One PSW, Jennifer Cloutier, a member of Unifor Local 2458, said working in long-term cares in the early months of the pandemic was terrible.

"To work through the pandemic was terrifying, was exhausting, was emotional. To go to work every day to see your residents dying is a horrible way to work," Cloutier said.

"We worked as little as three to four staff in a 24-hour period. How do you keep a resident alive with three to four staff, when I've worked a 20-hour shift and haven't even hydrated or nutritioned myself?" she asked. Mental breakdowns, depression, vomiting in cars and locker rooms happened daily in my home and I'm sure in many other homes."

https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/toronto/unions-personal-support-workers-f...

laine lowe laine lowe's picture

It's amazing that the situation wasn't rectified over the summer after so many outbreaks in elderly care homes in Ontario and Quebec at the start of the pandemic. FFS the military was called in to help with care because the crisis was so bad.

NDPP

'Devastating, Broken-Spirited'

https://twitter.com/metromorning/status/1320677904062291973

"More details as to the interim report by an independent commission into COVID-19 in long-term care homes."

 

Doris Grinspun RN, PhD: The Tragedy of LTC Homes in Second Wave

https://twitter.com/DorisGrinspun/status/1320683194610524161

"Time for ACTION, no more reports, no more 'reviewing recommendations' no more delays!!! Premier Ford take over this file!

[email protected]

Aristotleded24

The situation in Winnipeg continues to deterriorate:

Quote:

The for-profit company that owns Parkview Place is ramping up efforts to stop the spread of COVID-19 by bringing in new staff and paying to have every resident tested. 

This comes after Winnipeg Regional Health Authority (WRHA) staff entered the residence last weekend for the first time since March and found numerous deficiencies including lack of cleaning, lack of staff knowledge of outbreak protocols and the need for more medical and clinical staff.

Ninety-seven of the home's 221 residents — 44 per cent — have tested positive for the novel coronavirus since the outbreak began on Sept. 15, based on Parkview's most recent occupancy figures. 

As of Sunday afternoon, there are 17 reported deaths at Parkview.

jerrym

Across the country our senior care homes remain at risk.

As COVID-19 cases surge across Canada and outbreaks in nursing homes flare up once again, experts say vulnerable elderly populations are at extreme risk in the second wave due to a lack of government action. 

Long-term care facilities bore the brunt of the first wave of the pandemic in Canada, with more than 70 per cent of deaths from COVID-19 occurring in those aged over 80, about twice the average of rates from other developed countries.

"That is one of the most damning failures that's taken place through the pandemic," said Dr. Andrew Boozary, executive director of health and social policy for Toronto's University Health Network. 

"If we were going to be judged by how we protected our most susceptible and people who are structurally vulnerable — we failed them." 

Dozens of COVID-19 outbreaks have recently been reported in nursing homes in OntarioB.C.Alberta and Quebec as the second wave arrives in much of Canada. ...

Canada's systemic failures in long-term care are nothing new, and neither are the calls for action. ...

A July report from the Royal Society of Canada, an association that includes some of Canada's top scientists and scholars, described COVID-19 as "a shock wave that cracked wide all the fractures in our nursing home system." It called on the federal government to act "immediately" on creating national standards of care.

Months later, no concrete action has yet been taken, and the second wave of COVID-19 infections is well underway in previously hard-hit provinces, such as Ontario, B.C. and Quebec.

On Friday, Trudeau conceded during a press conference that problems in long-term care facilities "existed long before COVID-19. The systems that we had were inadequate all across the country," he said. "They were not up to the task of protecting our seniors appropriately."

But experts question why the process of fixing those systemic issues has only now just begun. "The writing is on the wall that this had to happen yesterday," said Boozary. "To not ensure that every measure, every resource is in place to protect these families and their loved ones — to me is just damning, it's egregious." 

A group of major stakeholders in Ontario's long-term care system sent a 60-page letter to Ontario Premier Doug Ford and the ministers of both Health and Long-Term Care this week calling for "immediate action" to protect the health of residents, staff and family members.

"In the absence of these measures and support from government, Ontario's long-term care homes are not currently ready to manage a second wave of COVID-19," said the letter, which was first reported on by the Globe and Mail. ...

Dr. Anna Banerji, an infectious disease expert and faculty lead for Indigenous and refugee health at the University of Toronto, said she's not convinced Canadian long-term care homes have made the necessary changes to protect elderly residents in the second wave.  

"We don't want to see the same kind of disasters that we were seeing in the spring where we had all these people dying and the people that were living were basically living in squalor," she said. "If that occurs again, it's a real failure." 

Banerji said nursing homes need to ensure they have no more than one resident per room with individual access to their own bathroom, while staff should have adequate personal protective equipment and infection control training — something they lacked in the first wave. 

https://www.cbc.ca/news/health/covid-long-term-care-canada-1.5739798

NDPP

'They Should Not Go There To Die' (radio)

https://www.cbc.ca/listen/live-radio/1-39-metro-morning/clip/15805141-th...

"Doris Grinspun, CEO of the Registered Nurses Association of Ontario says the Premier needs to take over the LTC portfolio now - to avoid a repeat of large infection outbreaks..." MUST HEAR!

Please help save Ontario's LTC seniors from another mass covid-19 die-off due to continuing inattention from provincial authorities. One day this could be you...

[email protected]

 

kropotkin1951

The first thing to do, since governments will not nationalize the industry, my preferred option, is to make OAS $2,000 every four weeks so that seniors can go into the marketplace of retired homes and buy more than a dirty understaffed warehouse. When you have no income and there are no government spaces available you go places that we now know are death camps waiting to happen. We have been killing old people in private care homes for decades, especially people who have to rely on the OAS and supplements to pay for their care.

jerrym

The delays in testing for Covid-19 are placing long term care homes (LTCs) in particular at risk because the disease can spread so rapidly there and the seniors are so vunerable. The situation is often worse in private LTCs. With over 80% of early Covid deaths occurring in LTCs across Canada, you would have thought things would have improved in this area by now. 

Delays plaguing Canada’s COVID-19 testing programs are preventing nursing homes from quickly identifying infected residents and staff, and controlling the spread of infections, just as a growing number of facilities are declaring outbreaks.

The problem is most acute in Canada’s two most populous provinces. The number of long-term care homes with outbreaks in Ontario has quadrupled to 86 over the past month and 58 residents have died. In Quebec, 39 homes have outbreaks. The virus has sickened just over one-third of the residents at CSSS Du Granit in Lac-Mégantic, the province’s hardest-hit home.

COVID-19 is rapidly spreading beyond the country’s hot spots to other provinces. In Alberta, 13 homes have outbreaks. At one home – Millwoods Shepherd’s Care Centre in Edmonton – eight of the 61 residents who have tested positive have died.

Seven nursing homes in Manitoba are dealing with outbreaks. Four residents at Parkview Place in Winnipeg have died in little more than a week and another 73 residents have tested positive. Two deaths were linked on Monday to Heritage Lodge, also in Winnipeg. ...

Health care experts say fast turnaround of test results is crucial to preventing and managing outbreaks in long-term care homes and other congregate settings where the elderly are most vulnerable to the virus.

Multiple health regions across the country are missing target turnaround times for test results.

Manitoba Chief Public Health Officer Brent Roussin told reporters on Monday the province tries to prioritize testing for health care workers and institutional outbreaks. He could not say how long nursing homes wait for results, but said the median turnaround time for COVID-19 tests in the province is 60 hours.

In Ontario, where labs are turning around an average of 46.1 per cent of tests within two days – well short of their goal of 80 per cent of tests within that time frame – some nursing homes are facing lengthy waits for results.

With each passing day, homes lose an opportunity to isolate positive staff or residents before they pass the virus on to others, hindering their ability to control an outbreak, said Kieran Moore, Medical Officer of Health for the Kingston, Frontenac, Lennox and Addington Public Health Unit.

“Everything hinges on good rapid access to testing and quick turnaround times for decision making in these high-risk facilities,” he said. ...

All but one of Extendicare’s five homes in Ottawa have an outbreak. The Ottawa Hospital is temporarily managing West End Villa, where 19 residents have died over the past month. The hospital is now processing COVID-19 tests for residents and staff at West End Villa, Extendicare said. As a result, it said, turnaround time has significantly improved.

https://www.theglobeandmail.com/canada/article-delays-in-covid-19-testin...

 

Aristotleded24

Another care home knocked over in Winnipeg:

Quote:

Of the six deaths reported Sunday and two additional ones announced late Saturday, four are connected to an outbreak at Maples Long Term Care home, including two women in their 80s, a man in his 80s and a woman in her 90s, according to a provincial news release.

There are two deaths — a man in his 70s and another in his 80s — linked to an outbreak at St. Boniface Hospital.

jerrym

The BC's Seniors Advocate says long term care home residents should be allowed more visitors as some families say the isolation is worse than the risk of covid. 

B.C.'s visitor restrictions on long-term care homes are harming residents' health and should be eased, says a new report from the province's seniors advocate.

The report by Isobel Mackenzie, released Tuesday, recommends designating an "essential care" partner who can visit more frequently and for longer periods, and allowing at least one additional social visitor. 

It also calls on shifting visits away from common areas and into residents' rooms, saying the move would reduce the burden on care home staff to monitor visits and reduce the need to keep visits short.

The report, which surveyed 13,000 long-term care residents and their families across B.C., said most respondents indicated current restrictions are not working for them, with some calling the rules "inhumane." 

Residents are using more anti-psychotic medications during the restrictions, the report said. They have also suffered spikes in unexplained weight loss, worsening moods and symptoms of depression. 

"The urgency is now," Mackenzie said. "The residents have told us very clearly in this survey they are more concerned about being separated from their family members than they are about COVID." ...

The province then eased restrictions over the summer, allowing residents to see one person at a time — a "designated" visitor — in a common area.  The visits have to be booked in advance and can happen indoors, outdoors or, in some cases, in a single room. Visitors must follow several health and safety rules, like wearing a mask, sanitizing their hands and talking to their loved one from at least two metres away. ...

The report found most family members and residents support some restrictions — including handwashing, getting temperature checks and wearing masks — but want more visitors and more frequent visitors.  Mackenzie said long-term care homes can already allow for longer visits, but allowing more visitors would require the approval of Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry.

https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/long-term-care-home-repo...

jerrym

There are no spending estimates in the new Ford government budget about fulfilling its promise to improve long-term care standards, including providing four hours of care per LTC residents and the hiring of thousands of needed workers, thereby raising questions about whether it really intends to do anything. 

Health care advocates are criticizing the Ontario government today for not providing any funding details in its budget for a key pledge to improve long-term care standards.

Both the Registered Nurses' Association of Ontario and the Canadian Union of Public Employees say the promised four hours of care per day standard for long-term care residents will require serious investment. But they point out that the key fiscal document - unveiled by Ford's government Thursday - contains no spending estimates or detailed funding commitment.

They say the government must show how it plans to pay for the measure and provide a detailed implementation strategy.

The government has promised the new standards as a way to address problems in long-term care homes, which have been hit hard by the pandemic.

Ford has said it will take until 2024-2025 to implement the measure because it will require the province to hire thousands of workers.

https://toronto.ctvnews.ca/advocates-say-absent-funding-details-for-long...

NDPP

There Are Lies, Damn Lies, and Statistics

https://twitter.com/DrSamirSinha/status/1325470434855358466

I'm a geriatrician, not a mathematician, but what's very disappointing to see  is while COVID-19 cases skyrocket, how Ont Gov doesn't make it clear in its reporting that 3088 or 96% of its deaths to date have been among Ontarians 60+."

Nor is there any significant outcry from Ontarians. I have concluded that many Canadians are somewhat onboard with, certainly not unduly bothered by, the culling of elders in these LTC homes. Hence the spectacular and studied indifference to the substandard conditions that exist there over many years. Time for and end to the for-profit system.

[email protected]

Aristotleded24

What happens when elders are brought home?

Quote:

Days later, the care home's rules tightened again to only allow each resident one visitor every 12 hours. That meant Goertzen's family would need to work in staggered shifts, keeping a meticulous schedule to make sure the 85-year-old wouldn't be alone.

But Webb saw another option. She and her husband decided to bring her grandmother home to live her last days with them — but what happened when she got there, Webb said, was nothing short of miraculous.

"Mentally, emotionally, spiritually, she just completely turned around," she said. "[She] just had this will to stick around."

About four months earlier, Lois Coleman Neufeld made the same decision for her mother, just as sites across Manitoba started restricting visits when the first cases of COVID-19 were detected in the province.

After one of their weekly Sunday outings — spent at church then at her house for lunch — Coleman Neufeld was walking her mother back into Parkview Place when a worker at the Winnipeg care home stopped them.

"[They] said, 'You can't come in. We're in lockdown,'" Coleman Neufeld said. 

"So we started asking questions about, 'Well, would we be able to come and visit tomorrow? Would we be able to take her out again?' And of course, it was new for everybody, so nobody had any answers."

In the meantime, she decided to bring her mom home to live with her. But over the next few days, it became clear what the new rules would mean for someone with dementia.

"I knew that if I left mom there, it would be like condemning her to a slow, painful death," she said.

And within a month of having her mom back at home, Coleman Neufeld said she also started seeing changes. The 91-year-old who could once only walk a few hundred metres before getting tired was now some days walking well over a kilometre.

It was a stark change from the woman living in Parkview Place who, unable to participate in most activities, was left in her room, discouraged and depressed.

"For the first time in years and years and years, I saw her cry. She's a very strong woman. She doesn't cry," Coleman Neufeld said, voice trembling. "So the question of taking her out wasn't a huge issue, in a way, to resolve. The biggest issue was, can I manage it?"

Now obviously there is more to it than this, and it is impossible to generalize from these 2 stories. These people were lucky enough to be able to make the sacrifices in their lives to make it work. Not all families have that ability, and many elders have complex needs that family members cannot meet. But it does suggest that perhaps being in a care facility in and of itself is bad for one's health. Even though age is a risk factor for covid, my intuition is that controlling for everything else, an older person inside of a home is more likely to have a bad outcome than someone outside. So it does hightlight the need for us to rethink our elder care model, especially as our population continues to age and we will see more elderly people without direct descendants to take care of them.

NDPP

COVID-19 Outbreaks in LTC Homes Were Forseeable and Preventable, Says Geriatrician (radio)

https://www.cbc.ca/listen/live-radio/1-14-day-6/clip/15808764-covid-19-o...

"Cases are on the rise across the country and some provinces are again struggling to contain outbreaks in long-term care homes. Health officials like Dr Samir Sinha, director of geriatrics at Sinai Health, say provinces didn't prepare their long term care homes when they had the chance."

"Frankly, we've never prioritized the care of our elderly in our society or we wouldn't under-fund the LTC system by 30%. I think a lot of this is rooted in ageism. If we don't really value the old, we're not going to fund them to be cared for adequately and we're certaintly not going to pay the workers in these homes adequately..."

Canada continues to kill their elderly in a second wave of covid deaths in LTC homes. As this happened before and is happening again, without remedial measures being taken or any appreciable outcry from the public, one must conclude it is purposeful, no?

NDPP

29 Residents Dead from COVID-19 at Scarborough LTC Home

https://toronto.ctvnews.ca/29-residents-dead-from-covid-19-at-scarboroug...

"Twenty-nine residents of a Scarborough ltc home have died since a COVID-19 outbreak was declared last month..."

Eldercide continues apace. 29 more pension payouts saved. Not your problem right?

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