May 27, 2020

By Jane Brown

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“This report, both egregious and indefensible, affirms a lot of what we already knew,” says Marissa Lennox, Chief Policy Officer at CARP. “There’s no question that building deficiencies, chronic staffing shortages and pest control issues are all things that we’ve heard before. What was unexpected was the overwhelming disregard for basic principles of health care and the culture of fear of being reprimanded for using the necessary supplies to provide proper care to residents. Urgent intervention is required.”

The Canadian Armed Forces, which have been providing front-line support to several struggling long-term care homes in Ontario and Quebec, have submitted a shocking report detailing multiple accounts of abuse, neglect and failure to comply with procedures to prevent the spread of COVID-19 between staff and residents.

Military members who were sent in to 5 long term care homes to help with deadly COVID-19 outbreaks paint a deeply disturbing image of the following homes:

Etobicoke’s Eatonville Care Centre, Scarborough Altamont Care Community, Pickering’s Orchard Villa, North York’s Hawthorne Place and
Brampton’s Holland Christian Homes’ Grace Manor.

Some of the reported problems outlined in the report include:

COVID-19 positive residents wandering the home in contact with staff and other residents
Lack of wound and bleeding treatment
Fallen residents ignored by staff
Sharing of catheters between residents
Expired medications being administered
Staff working within a “culture of fear” of using supplies and PPE to save costs (gowns, dressings, gloves)
Supplies kept under lock and key, inaccessible by those who need them (e.g. disinfectant wipes for PSWs)
Extra soaker pads, for incontinent residents, not allowed
Soiled residents left unchanged for extended periods of time
No disinfection of facilities
Cockroach and insect infestations
Forceful eating resulting in choking
Lack of bathing for weeks
Residents left without meals for extended periods of time

Prime Minister Trudeau has expressed that he is “saddened, shocked, disappointed and angered” by the report and is in talks with Ontario Premier Doug Ford. Premier Ford has emphatically promised to fix the long-term care system, repeatedly calling the findings “gut-wrenching”.

Ford has extended the military presence in these homes for at least another 30 days, as they continue to be unable to provide the basics of acceptable care for their residents.

We will share the report once it has been released to the public.

CARP is fighting for safer long-term care across Canada.

Find out more by clicking here.

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