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New analysis paints international picture of COVID-19 long-term care impacts Study released by the Canadian Institute of Health Information

CBC News

A new analysis released today by the Canadian Institute for Health Information (CIHI) shows that while Canada’s COVID-19 death rate is relatively low compared to other OECD countries, the proportion of deaths occurring in long-term care (LTC) is double the OECD average. As of May 25, at the country level, LTC residents accounted for 81% of all reported COVID-19 deaths in Canada, compared with an average of 42% in 16 other OECD countries (ranging from less than 10% in Slovenia and Hungary to 66% in Spain). This analysis examines Canada’s pandemic experience in LTC and that of other countries in the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), focusing on 3 areas: cases and deaths, baseline health system characteristics and policy responses.

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For a Snapshot PDF of the study’s findings, go to:

Video captures residents wandering into woman’s room at Ottawa long-term care home hit hard by COVID-19

Judy Trinh, CBC News, The Fifth Estate

A camera installed by a woman concerned about her mother’s health inside an Ottawa long-term care home overwhelmed by COVID-19 shows several residents wandering into a private room at the height of the outbreak. The footage shared with The Fifth Estate shows lapses in infection control and provides a glimpse into how Madonna Care Community, one of the hardest-hit nursing homes in Ontario, responded to the crisis. Madonna Care has one of the highest coronavirus infection rates in the capital. Ninety-seven of the home’s 160 residents contracted COVID-19. Nearly half of them died.

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Orchard Villa long beset by problems, families say after military report on care homes

CBC News, Toronto

June Morrison Picture

June Morrison, who lost her father George William Morrison, 95, three weeks ago, said the report is not surprising. She says: ‘I think there’s criminal act. The police investigation, once they actually go in there and see what’s actually going on and do those interviews, yes, I think you’re going to get a criminal element, definitely, on the hands of management and admin.’ (CBC)

Family members who have lost loved ones to COVID-19 say a Canadian military report on five long-term care homes in Ontario confirms what they already know about one such home because the facility had constant problems. People whose parents have died at Orchard Villa in Pickering, Ont., where 77 patients have died as of Monday, say they believe there are more homes that should be investigated.

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Seniors’ homes using ‘trespass orders’ to ban family members from visiting

Katie Pedersen, Melissa Mancini, David Common, CBC News, Marketplace

Mary Sardelis wasn’t allowed to visit her 97-year-old mother’s Ottawa retirement home for almost a year. Sardelis lives less than five minutes away from her mother Voula, but the home prevented Sardelis from seeing her, using sections of Ontario’s trespass law.

“For 316 days … I was banned from entering the home,” she said. “You have no idea of the toll it’s taken.” She could call, but her mother’s hearing is poor and she often couldn’t understand what her daughter was saying. “All I could hear was her fears or concerns. And I couldn’t even soothe her.” Sardelis was banned from City View Retirement Community in Ottawa, Ontario, under the Ontario’s Trespass to Property Act. So-called trespass orders allow private property owners to limit who can come onto the premises and, some experts say, are being increasingly used to keep out family members who complain about conditions in retirement and long-term care homes. 

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Crying out for care

Marketplace, CBC, featuring David Common

As a continuation of its two-year investigation, the CBC’s Marketplace goes undercover in this episode to see what life is really like for our loved ones inside long-term care facilities. The program follows one daughter who installed a hidden camera in her mother’s room, and uncovered the truth about how her mother really died. The CBC’s hidden camera investigation concluded that these facilities are still understaffed and its front line workers are overworked. Although Premier Ford recently  announced that the Ontario Government will add 15,000 new beds for long-term care over the next five years, 30,000 in ten years, he did not elaborate on who will care for those new beds in facilities where family members find the conditions unacceptable, and staff workers continue to be set up to fail. At this press conference, newly appointed health minister, Christine Elliott, said that she takes the concerns of all front line workers very seriously, and she added that her department is conducting a human resource review.

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