Long-term care homes have been hit hardest by the pandemic, accounting for more than eight out of ten COVID-19 deaths in Canada. An investigation conducted by the Canadian Armed Forces in five Long-term Care facilities says there are “borderline abusive” practices in these homes and a “horrible” level of care for residents. The five homes that were investigated are Altamont Care Community in Scarborough, Hawthorne Place and Eatonville Care Centre in Toronto, Orchard Villa in Pickering, and Holland Christian Homes’ Grace Manor in Brampton.
The investigation showed an overall disregard for the care of residents in the homes. Soldiers reported cockroaches, flies, and rotten food with some residents left in soiled diapers. At one facility, residents had not been bathed in weeks. Residents were forcefully fed, not fed three meals a day, mouse feces was found in a drawer and closet, and many staff were not trained correctly and not following infection prevention and control measures.
In Brampton, Holland Christian Homes has had 30 confirmed staff cases and 13 resident deaths. The investigation cited Grace Manor for allowing staff to move between patients without changing protective gear and washing their hands. Residents were aggressively re-positioned and left with food in their mouths while sleeping. As of June 12th, no active cases have been reported.
At a press conference, Ontario Premier Doug Ford recently said “it is the most heart-wrenching report that I have ever read in my entire life.”
Premier Ford has announced that “rigorous inspections” will occur to conduct interviews with staff, review records, make observations, and report findings. The Premier added that “we will do whatever it takes for as long as it takes.”