CARP, Canada’s largest advocacy organization for older Canadians has been calling on governments for years to address chronic understaffing in long term care homes. Seniors living in long term care have been suffering through years of neglect in a system with grave safety concerns, outdated facilities and inadequate staffing.
When the coronavirus pandemic hit, many long term care facilities were slow to adopt rigorous protective measures recommended by health advocates and leading geriatric medical experts. The implementation of more widespread COVID-19 testing, the wearing of masks by all staff, curtailing non-essential visits and barring employees from working at multiple homes were not introduced early enough.
“I feel there were lives lost along the way that didn’t need to be lost. The fact is we weren’t as prepared as we could have been,” says Dr. Simar Sinha, director of geriatrics for seven toronto hospitals.
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