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Currently Browsing: The Ottawa Citizen

Long-term care homes want an end to mandatory inspections

Elizabeth Payne, The Ottawa Citizen

Ontario’s long-term care homes are pressing the Ontario government to get rid of mandatory annual inspections as part of its focus on cutting red tape. Groups that represent the province’s long-term care homes have long asked for an end to annual inspections for all long-term care homes and reducing regulations that they say place an undue burden on an already stressed sector. The head of one of two major organizations says she is optimistic the province is listening to those concerns. It is a possibility that worries Jane Meadus, staff lawyer and the institutional advocate with the Advocacy Centre for the Elderly. Regulations covering long-term care homes are there for a reason — in some cases because of previous harm done to residents — said Meadus. “Inspecting long term care homes that provide care to vulnerable seniors is not red tape. It is something that is necessary.”

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https://ottawacitizen.com/news/local-news/long-term-care-homes-want-end-to-mandatory-inspections

Windows in poor repair not inspected regularly before woman with dementia fell to her death at Carlingview Manor

Elizabeth Payne, The Ottawa Citizen

A senior woman with dementia, who was known to be an escape risk, fell head first to her death in April after easily removing the windows in her room at Carlingview Manor, according to a damning inspection report released by the province. It took the woman less than two minutes to take the windows from their frames at the long-term care home and plummet to the ground, according to security footage. The windows, which were supposed to open no more than 15 centimetres to prevent falls, were in poor repair, not inspected regularly and routinely removed by cleaning staff, sometimes in front of residents, the report from the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care found. Cleaning staff could easily take the windows out of their frames without the help of special tools, according to the report, and sometimes had difficulty putting them back in securely. After the woman’s death, every accessible slider-style window in the eight-storey building was bolted shut.

Read the rest here:
https://ottawacitizen.com/news/local-news/windows-in-poor-repair-not-inspected-regularly-before-woman-with-dementia-fell-to-death-at-carlingview-manor

Woman who fell from care home window wasn’t found for an hour, son says

Elizabeth Payne, The Ottawa Citizen

Jeannette Fleury lay crumpled on the ground outside Carlingview Manor for an hour last April before officials at the long-term care home found her, according to her son. When found, the 79-year-old woman had no pulse. Luc Fleury said Friday he is angry about the death of his mother, who plummeted from her third-floor bedroom window at the Carling Avenue long-term care home on April 17. He said he’s especially angry it took so long for anyone from the home to find her. “It is supposed to be a secure floor. I know everyone is (short-staffed), but why didn’t they look more? They found her an hour later, that is what they told me.” According to a provincial investigation, security cameras captured Jeannette Fleury entering her room at 8 a.m. She was recorded falling head first to her death less than two minutes later.

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https://ottawacitizen.com/news/local-news/woman-who-fell-from-care-home-window-wasnt-found-for-an-hour-son-sayhttps://ottawacitizen.com/news/local-news/woman-who-fell-from-care-home-window-wasnt-found-for-an-hour-son-say

Long-term care should be central election issue health experts say

Tom Spears, The Ottawa Citizen

It’s time to stop focusing all our municipal election thoughts on development and transportation and make candidates talk about long-term care, health experts say. A panel at the McNabb Community Centre on Monday evening advised voters to ask about nursing homes and other issues facing the elderly. Nursing homes have a lot at stake this fall, said Susan Braedley, who teaches at Carleton University and studies nursing homes. “First of all, Ottawa is fortunate in that we have four nursing homes that are opened by the municipality. We have an opportunity to really consider what kind of care we feel our seniors deserve and what care we can provide. That is very much on the municipal scene,” she said.

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https://ottawacitizen.com/news/local-news/long-term-care-should-be-central-election-issue-health-experts-say

“We are in crisis”: Personal support workers are the backbone of home care in Ontario and there aren’t enough of them

Joanne Laucius, The Ottawa Citizen

Richard Martin slurs when he speaks. He has difficultly walking and swallowing food. He has short-term memory loss, and dementia is inevitable. Martin has Huntington’s disease, a neurodegenerative disorder. Until he was diagnosed in 2010, Martin had a busy east-end medical practice. Today, he is cared for by his wife, Melanie Dea, in their Rockland home.

Dea has watched the disease attack her husband’s mind and body. He needs constant attention and there’s only so much Dea can provide. And that’s a problem. Because even though Martin is entitled to five hours and 15 minutes of home care every week, provided by a personal support worker, help is hard to find in rural Ontario and many other parts of the province.

Home care has been touted as a way to keep people out of hospitals and long-term care. It costs less than institutional care, it’s better for patients and a life-saver for beleaguered caregivers like Dea. She relies on it, but her experience has been that her husband’s entitlement does not translate into reality. Sometimes he will get the hours he is entitled to, but more often it will be only an hour or two, she says. “There are so many PSWs who start and then they quit. Or they call in sick. I really need the break. I’m burned out,” says Dea. “It’s a full-time job. I get three hours of respite a week. What do I do? I go to the bank, to the grocery store.” Across Ontario, home care agencies are struggling to recruit and and retain personal support workers, known as PSWs. They get jobs right out of school, but many soon leave the field after they discover that the hours can be inconsistent, they are paid a dollar or two above minimum wage and they have to rush between appointments.

Read the rest here:
https://ottawacitizen.com/news/local-news/when-the-backbone-is-broken

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