Canada was met with some concerning news, there are 5 long-term care facilities in Ontario, that aren’t meeting the health and safety requirements laid out by the Canadian Government. This includes such simple measures as keeping residents that are infected with COVID-19, separate from the rest of the facility. It was reported by David Cochrane of CBC News that these residents were just roaming the facility freely. When residents were being treated by the care workers and nurses on site, the staff would wear the same garments between patients, that were infected or not, in some cases they were using the same syringes, which are used to give injections or even take blood.
Vassy Kapelos of CBC’s Power and Politics had also reported on this report, which was given to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau this past Friday evening, had indicated that there were 5 long term care facilities in Ontario that were of high risk, that there were residents dying and nothing had been done. These 5 facilities span across Ontario, but mostly in the GTA, these areas are: Pickering, Scarborough, North York, Etobicoke and Brampton. The report notes significant abuse and neglect of residents, including some of those who are palliative.
4 out of 5 of COVID-19 deaths are seniors in long-term care homes, with a number of staff getting infected as well as members of the Canadian Armed Forces.
Several of instances, which the Premiere of Ontario described as gut-wrenching, in what I can describe as the most treacherous treatment of human beings akin to those that are prisoner of war, this is truly how you care for someone that have no care for. In the report, there is a number of documented “incidents”, and I ask you to think of leaving your parents or grandparents in these conditions;
- Staff was allowed to leave their residents in their soiled diapers, with flied and cockroaches and around rotten food
- Residents were left on the floor after falling out of their beds, wailing for help for almost 2 hours
- As previously mentioned, residents were seen dying, and were not given care
- Residents were being force fed, and residents were being fed but not being told to sit up or helped up
- Staff were not properly trained to do the jobs that they were, and there was no medical doctor on sight
- Residents were being administered proper medication as medication had expired
Trudeau was obviously shocked, appalled, angered and also struck with grief. However, when we turned to Ontario Premier Doug Ford, who was more visibly distraught, he seemingly had a lot to say, and was confident in how is government has handled this situation thus far. The Ontario government seemed to have known of these issues quite a bit earlier, but didn’t know how severe it was.
“We know the system is broken” – Doug Ford
Once the report was read, Premier Ford said they acted with absolute swiftness and priority. They said they knew of problems like the underpaid employees, how there was a lack of staff, yet they didn’t ever imagine that a problem of this magnitude would ever surface. I have to wonder how well Premier Ford, Justin Trudeau and the other government officials truly know people. It would seem to me that anyone having to work under these conditions, and lack the proper education to carry out certain medical tasks and procedures safely, is almost guaranteed not to give residents adaquate care. Premier Ford was very emotional about this issue, saying that this is 100% on him, yet Ontario has to do a better. I mean learning of the different stressors that staff at these facilities face, such as being underpaid, even before the COVID-19 pandemic, you really have to wonder what the health officials really thought. At least now I know why my grandparents were adamant about not going to a home.
Canadians, specifically those in Ontario and Quebec really need to sit down and re-evaluate their priorities. If someone needs to resign from his or her role in the concerns of Canadian health, or an authority relating to long term care, now would be a good time.
Thank You to the Canadian Armed Force members that blew the whistle, the decision to do so couldn’t be easy.