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Ten Residents Dead from COVID-19 at Almonte, Ontario, Long-term Care Home: Inside Almonte Country Haven: Exhaustion, isolation, death, and a call for help

Bruce Deachman, The Ottawa Citizen

Twelve residents at the 82-bed facility have died there since March 29 – 10 of those from COVID-19-related complications – and others have tested positive. The situation at Almonte and other LTC facilities countrywide, says Jane, needs to be addressed immediately, before circumstances at such centres begin to echo those at Bobcaygeon’s 65-bed Pinecrest Nursing Home, which has seen 28 COVID-19-related deaths as of Wednesday, the worst-hit LTC facility in the province.

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Tragedy continues to unfold as 28th resident of Pinecrest Nursing Home dies of Coronavirus

Pamela Vanmeer, Kawartha 411 Breaking News

KAWARTHA LAKES-Officials at Pinecrest Nursing Home in Bobcaygeon say one more resident has died of Coronavirus, bringing the total dead to 28 residents and the wife of a resident. “Pinecrest’s experience and findings continue to be shared with the Chief Medical Officer and other public health authorities to inform process and procedure.” said Mary Carr, the home’s administrator. “Our aim is to share as much information as possible with other homes across the province to prioritize the health and safety of long-term care residents in Ontario. This is a situation that is unfolding and, as the understanding of this virus changes, we are implementing all new care directives issued by local and provincial public health authorities.” At least half of the staff have also tested positive for the virus. Many are still off work and reinforcements are being brought in from as far away as Welland, Ontario.

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Don’t use no trespass laws in Ontario retirement homes

The Ottawa Citizen Editorial Board, The Ottawa Citizen

(Note from Lise: There have been cases in Ottawa involving caregivers who were also banned from long-term care facilities, despite the fact that they had not been abusive to staff in any way).

This is a ham-fisted way of dealing with conflicts; surely it would be easier for a retirement home to sit down with an upset relative and work out whatever the problem is. Most families want only what is best for their loved one. Imagine your parent lives in a retirement home, dependent on your regular visits for companionship and support. Now imagine you run afoul of the home’s management for one reason or another – let us say you were upset about your loved one’s treatment, and you yelled at a staffer. In some cases, the retirement home might react by barring you from the premises. You couldn’t visit your aging loved one. If that seems like an extreme reaction, it is. Yet the Advocacy Centre for the Elderly says it gets an average of a call a week from people slapped with a no-trespass order from a retirement home or a long-term care facility. Often, it’s because the visitor was upset at staff about a relative’s care and acted in a way the facility’s management felt was abusive, such as yelling or swearing.

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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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With baby boomers aging, the cost of long-term care is set to triple

Bonnie-Jeanne MacDonald and Michael Wolfson, The Globe and Mail

First published on October 8, 2019

Long-term care in Canada is facing major sustainability challenges – and it’s an issue that we cannot afford to ignore. Research released in October 2019  by the National Institute on Ageing at Ryerson University shows that if Canada continues on its current track, the cost of publicly funded long-term care for seniors – including nursing homes and home care – is expected to more than triple in 30 years, rising from $22-billion to $71-billion, in today’s dollars. Keep in mind that governments fund these costs from general tax revenues. Unlike the Canada/Quebec Pension Plan, there is no special fund or program to cover the costs of long-term care in Canada. And it is not covered under the Canada Health Act in the same way as physician and hospital care. 

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