- What has happened in many long-term care homes across the country is a crisis that has been years in the making.
- Subsequent provincial and federal governments allowed this crisis to grow in varying proportions in different provinces and entrench so deeply that the COVID-19 pandemic has caused nothing short of a national tragedy for many vulnerable seniors, their families and their caregivers. It’s a national tragedy that requires – and deserves – national attention.
- More than 7,000 seniors died in long-term care homes from COVID-19, representing more than 80 per cent of all COVID-19 deaths in Canada.
- Seniors and other residents in long-term care homes must be able to live safely and with dignity.
- Canada has a shameful record of having the highest number of COVID fatalities in long-term care homes than any other developed country in the world.
- People who live in the homes, their families, workers and seniors’ advocates have all been sounding the alarm about the condition of long-term care homes for years. Study after study has shown that we need to do more to improve long-term care.
- Long-term care homes should be run as part of our publicly-funded health care system. They shouldn’t operate on a for-profit basis by corporations that are more concerned with making money for their shareholders than they are with caring for those who live in the home.
To the editor,
I am deeply troubled by the state of long-term care homes in Ontario. My mom is in a retirement home right now, and I am terrified of the day she may need to move into long-term care.
How could so many homes have such devastating outbreaks of COVID-19? In my view, provincial and federal governments allowed the crisis to grow in long-term care homes and entrench so deeply that the COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in a national tragedy for many vulnerable seniors and residents, their families and their caregivers.
We don’t have time for more studies or commissions. Here in Ontario there are stacks of reports that tell us what needs to be done: more funding that is directly tied to providing care, increased staffing, proper protective equipment, and clear protocols on isolating those who are sick.
Most importantly, long-term care homes should be run as part of our publicly funded health care system. They shouldn’t operate on a for-profit basis by corporations that are more concerned with making money for their shareholders than they are with caring for those who live in the home.
We have the answers, we just need governments – federal and provincial – to work together to make them happen.
Jan Malek, The Council of Canadians