Neglect prime cause of care home problems
Re: Re: Poor disinfecting methods and PPE use fuelling Niagara long-term care COVID-19 outbreaks: Hirji, April 23
For politicians to say the number of deaths in long-term care facilities is heartbreaking implies they are not responsible for this situation.
But anyone who has entered an LTC facility or a retirement facility knows they are, by their nature, death traps.
How many times in the course of any five-year period have LTCs had to go under lockdown because of disease (usually the flu)? Remember most of these facilities are run as for-profit operations, funded by the Ontario government and by the residents.
To cut costs, the residents share facilities — sitting areas, entertainment areas, eating areas etc. The older and less expensive facilities have shared rooms. They are generally understaffed and underfunded.
That is not to say the support staff are not caring and compassionate in the majority of cases. Under normal circumstances, the staff can get by. But under lockdowns, staff are stretched to breaking. Add staff illness and that means additional shortcuts have to be taken.
Long-term care facilities should be an extension of the provincial health system, but with separate funding and access to emergency funding. The occupants are generally no longer able to care for themselves, or they have longterm illnesses, physical and/or mental.
With about 50 per cent of all deaths from COVID-19 occurring in LTC facilities, the situation in Ontario screams that the cause in not disease, it is neglect. Bob Koruna St Catharines