Currently we face a continuing very serious home care and elder care staffing shortage here in Ontario. More than 2200 long term care residents have died during the pandemic, and that accounts for 66% of all Covid-19 deaths in the province, a horrible disaster for Ontario elders. In Canada it's over 80%, the highest reported in the world! Much of this can be put down to staffing problems, as well as outdated facilities that crowd residents sometimes four to a room.
The same staffing shortage is making home care programs steadily worse. Patients on waiting lists can't get home care at all, and other patients sometimes get told no-one is available, leaving them sitting up in a wheelchair all night! Home care is by FAR cheaper than sending people to long term care, but it still operates as a second class service.
Twice during the past week we have been left without help. In our case my wife can get me out of or into bed, but certainly not easily. Paralyzed and needing a mechanical lift to shift me in or out of bed, I'm not easy to deal with! Today, because of the schedule, I wasn't out to breakfast until 10.30! But many elders receiving home care live alone, so without help they are stuck, many of them also not able to use the bathroom.
If you trace this back, of course it goes back to government cuts and low wages. It's hard to see a way out of this except with greater public investment. I'm afraid that you easily feel you worked hard for 30 or 40 years, and then if you get ill and need assistance, you're just dumped on the rubbish pile.
I should be clear that the people who actually provide the home care (and I'm sure it's the same in long term care) are uniformly wonderful people who do their job well. These PSWs (Personal Support Workers) are dedicated and committed. But I sometimes fear that the managers above them are hired for their ability to talk a corporate line - and at the moment that line is always the staff shortage that prevents them giving the care they'd like to.
If you visit the website of the Canadian Association of Retired Persons (CARP), the top headline you'll see is "Fire the Minister!", complete with a petition to fire the Minister of Long Term Care here in Ontario. Sign the petition and maybe we'll send a sharper message to the politicians!
I'm so sorry to hear of this. For some reason, I thought it was better in Canada. I think it is, but still the pandemic has taken such a toll on healthcare workers globally. :-(ReplyDelete
I feel so bad for you. Getting help is so important. I am lucky that my Dad is in a Veterans Centre and getting royal treatment but I fear the day when I may need assistance. I hope your caregivers manage to get to you the rest of this week. I would think you should be a priority.ReplyDelete
Our provincial government should be fired en masse, as far as I'm concerned.ReplyDelete
Saw this article in the news today and thought you might be interested.....London architect Suzanne Brewer has created a prototype wheelchair with only two wheels and a saddle seat that takes the user from seated to standing in one fluid movement.ReplyDelete
Called Walking Wheelchair, the vehicle allows its occupant to engage with their surroundings at the height of an able-bodied person, which is beneficial both on a social and logistical level.
Sounds that the situation is the same almost everywhere. One of our neighbors has a caregiver, today she came four times; although the caregiver works for an agency, she's also a distant relative so I assume that our neighbor gets extra special care.ReplyDelete
I do hope you can get the care you need in a better fashion soon.ReplyDelete
The same situation here. The problem at the root of this is that nobody wants to pay a little extra tax to pay for a decent service. When did a politician ever get elected by promising to raise the rate of taxation?ReplyDelete
Seniors in care or needing workers have been devastated by Covid in this country. Maybe there will be changes to the system after this pandemic which isn’t helpful now.ReplyDelete
The more I read and hear about short staffed nursing homes and hearing the faltering care you are getting this week, I'm saddened. I really feel that Mom was blessed in her home, no Covid breakout at all, therefore no deaths because of it. Staff were probably run off their feet but they never appeared to be stressed.ReplyDelete
I'm not a believer that all deaths reported as Covid deaths are accurate, meaning that I don't think it is the only cause. I pray that a change is coming for the better and that you aren't 'abandoned' like that too often if ever again. I'm able to say that my family is at peace that Mom isn't a concern in this crazy world anymore. :(
Its another one of those many things where most of us assume things are going along Okay because we don't hear about them unless someone like yourself brings it to public attention. Its scary to think some areas of health care are not as good as some would have us believe.ReplyDelete
I'm sorry to hear this. Home health aides here in the states are also undervalued. Better pay and more respect would attract more people. And it doesn't help that immigration has been curtailed.ReplyDelete