There currently is a National Seniors Strategy developed through the National Institute on Ageing/Ryerson (www.nia-ryerson.ca) including how to change and improve LTC for seniors under the report by Dr. Samir Sinha (Geriatrician) Enabling the Future Provision of Long Term Care in Canada. (www.nia-ryerson.ca/reports).
The written report from the military who are assisting in LTC facilities in Ontario is expected to be discussed by the Premier of Ontario today. I would suggest (sight unseen) that the findings could be found in most any LTC facilities in Canada. The biggest influence and impact on care is the model of care employed and the management style and culture. We pretty well know that any care provided under the oversight of Regional Health Authorities is meant to stifle any concerns about the level of staff and the care to residents. Residents and family members fear saying anything in public once dismissed or warned not to say anything or risk being banned from the facility.
An Inquiry into Resident safety in LTC in Ontario was meant to ferret out why residents were murdered (not the first time this has happened in Canada) but the reply back to the Commissioner is not due until July 31, 2020. I sincerely had hoped for huge sweeping condemnation of poor care that has existed for over 40 years because of the medical model of care which forces people to become more marginalized (not empowered) and vulnerable.
Scandinavian countries such as Denmark do not build nursing homes and haven’t done so for 20 years. They care for seniors within the community where they live as it should be because it is a normal existence. Those who require more intensive care are housed together in small groups of 10 but the environment is still that of a normal home life and activities and what most people expect. Similarly, the most notable “Village” Hogewey was thought to be superior care because those with dementia were not stopped or drugged or mishandled in re-direction from untrained staff. Hogewey sustained the normal living environment including freedoms which current LTC facilities and supportive housing options do not allow because of obvious deficiencies in staff and knowledge and probably lack of desire to change what they are doing no matter how wrong it is.
Since LTC is a provincial responsibility, my message to the Prime Minister, and the Minister of Seniors, reply back to me was to remind me of that provincial responsibility.
Society’s lack of will to think or listen to the plight of those who have “lived experience” and the fear of employees for their jobs and the lack of union protest against deficits in care has created this perfect storm of which Manitoba escaped by pure chance.
I ask everyone this question – if this was happening in ChildCare/DayCare and babies and children died because of the unpreparedness of that facility ro protect those in care, would you just turn a blind eye to the problems?