I don’t know about you- but I am struggling with our new normal and the mounting deaths in Long Term Care. As you have been reading, for the last several years we have had major challenges in our Long Term Care system. I previously wrote a 3 – part article on some of these challenges ( Part 1: https://www.allaboutestates.ca/crisis-long-term-care/ Part 2: https://www.allaboutestates.ca/crisis-ltc-homes-continued/ and Part 3: https://www.allaboutestates.ca/crisis-long-term-care-continued-3/
and they did not even touch upon some of the major challenges being faced today with Covid- 19. These current challenges ( and perhaps I need to write Part 4) include a serious shortage of personal protective equipment, over crowding and lack of quarantine space, outdated policies and procedures and most critically at this time, the lack of testing protocols. This is in addition to the pre pandemic challenges of the shortage of skilled personnel, older buildings and some of the other issues highlighted in the above blogs.
On May 23, 2020 there were over 1,262 deaths on Ontario Long Term Care residences. This number is likely even greater this morning.
I have two questions/complaints today. The first is not understanding why there has been such a delay in testing ALL patients and ALL staff who work in Long Term Care residences. Yes many of us may be asymptomatic and we need to know this. Why is this testing only starting now?
The second question/concern I have, and I believe for the families with whom I work, is even more upsetting, is why have we kept all family members away from Long Term Care when the need is greater than ever? Why bring in the army and why asks for volunteers when there are many many family members who want to be there to provide care, comfort and support. I have yet to hear any satisfactory answers. Have you? Our entire approach to aging, living and dying need to be re examined.
These are my questions this Monday morning and I welcome your thoughts and comments.