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Ontario coroner revising reporting form used in long-term care home deaths

Joanne Laucius 

The chief coroner of Ontario is revising the death record used to report long-term care home deaths with questions calculated to raise red flags about deaths that warrant closer looks. A significant proportion of deaths in Ontario happen in long-term care homes: about 20,000 annually from a total of 160,000. These are less likely to be investigated by a coroner, but there’s a simple explanation: People with numerous concurrent medical conditions are simply more at risk of dying, and the demise of a very ill or elderly person can hardly be described as unusual. But the simple explanation can also mask suspicious deaths. “There has been a bias in society that long-term care deaths are not unexpected,” chief coroner Dr. Dirk Huyer said. Eight elderly people died at the hands of nurse Elizabeth Wettlaufer, who injected them with insulin. A public inquiry found last week that a coroner had been called in three of those eight cases. There was no suspicion that the deaths were the result of intentional wrongdoing, so Wettlaufer’s crimes were only uncovered after she confessed in September 2016. While the total number of Ontario deaths investigated by the coroner’s office has remained about the same in the past decade — from 18,308 in 2007 to 17,154 in 2017 — the number of long-term care death investigations dropped sharply: to 886 in from 3,326 in 2007. While a coroner investigating a long-term care death will typically conduct a head-to-toe examination of a body, autopsies in long-term care deaths are also rare.

Read the rest here:
https://ottawacitizen.com/news/local-news/nursing-home-deaths

The people who profit from Ontario long-term care homes are not the people who have to live in them

A message from SEIU, Healthcare Union in Canada, The Globe and Mail

Well-off people don’t have to. They pay more for better conditions. But many Ontarians have no choice. They’re stuck with Chartwell, Extendicare, Revera or Sienna and the service they provide. They pay CEOs well for generating profits. But it doesn’t take a wizard to generate profits from a captive market by cutting costs relentlessly. A CEO worth the millions paid to Brent Binions, Michael Guerriere, Thomas Wellner and Lois Cormack might find better ways to make money instead of rationing diapers, seriously understaffing homes and leaving workers struggling to provide basic levels of care. Leaders know business can be better than this. Sustainable businesses make profits while improving their communities. Use your influence to get Binions, Guerriere, Wellner and Cormack to develop a better business plan. One that leaves the elderly with their dignity.

Read more about this here:
www.TellThemToCare.ca

Frail elderly “failed by care deserts”

BBC News, Nick Triggle

The system for looking after frail older people in England is falling apart, with what are being dubbed “care deserts” emerging, a charity says. An analysis carried out for Age UK indicates about 30% of areas now have no residential care beds. The situation is even worse for nursing homes – needed for the most frail – with more than 60% having no places. Recruiting staff and keeping services running were proving a real challenge some areas, the charity said. Age UK believes the situation is now so bad that about 1.4 million older people are not getting the care they need – nearly one in seven of the over-65 population. Ruthe Isden, from Age UK, said: “The system is failing people – and that is having catastrophic consequences.” The government has promised plans to reform the care system will be put forward soon.

Read the rest here:
htps://www.bbc.com/news/health-48228623

With a looming aging crisis, who is helping the caregivers?

The Globe and Mail, Zosia Bielski

Elder care leaves families stressed, exhausted and looking for help, a challenge particularly felt by women. A patchwork of hospital programs, government supports and online communities shows a way forward. Nearly half the population has cared for an aging, ill or disabled family member or friend at some point, according to the latest data from Statistics Canada. Informal caregivers contributed $26-billion in free labour to the health-care system annually, a 2009 study found. More than half of Canadian carers nursed a loved one for more than four years and many of them faced substantial out-of-pocket expenses while struggling in their careers: 43 per cent missed work, 15 per cent cut down their hours and 10 per cent passed up a promotion or new job, according to Statistics Canada. Women particularly face this challenge, since more of the daily tasks of giving care still fall to them

Read the rest here:
https://www.theglobeandmail.com/canada/article-with-a-looming-aging-crisis-who-is-helping-the-caregivers/https://www.theglobeandmail.com/canada/article-with-a-looming-aging-crisis-who-is-helping-the-caregivers/

Jarring photo of elderly woman slumped over pillow in Ohio nursing home sparks investigation

Sia Nyorkor, Reporter, Cleveland 19 News, UK

Julia Wiggins, the family’s pastor, posted these photos to Facebook on Feb. 19. The woman pictured is 80-year-old Esther Brown, a resident of Altercare Nobles Pond in Canton. Her son, James Brown, said they have filed a complaint with the facility about the care his mother is receiving. Cleveland 19 News reporter Sia Nyorkor spoke to Beverly Laubert, State Long-Term Care Ombudsman with the Ohio Department of Aging regarding the allegations. The department advocates for people receiving nursing home care, home care and assisted living.

Read the rest and view the video here:
http://www.cleveland19.com/2019/02/21/jarring-photo-elderly-woman-slumped-over-pillow-canton-nursing-home-sparks-investigation/

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