CARE-WATCH FOR MAY 16, 2020

New Feature:

Weekly News from the front lines in Seniors’ Long Term-Care

Inspired by Carol Wodak founding member of CITIZEN WATCH

BACKGROUNDER: CITIZEN WATCH was created as a public service for the people of Alberta.  It was the work of an ever-widening network of individuals from across the province, including families and friends of long term care and assisted or supportive living residents and those requiring long term care supports in their own homes.

CITIZEN WATCH WEBSITE 

Long-Term Care Today

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For those who may have missed Carol’s appearance on Friends of Medicare Webinar “Seniors’ care in crisis: COVID-19 & beyond”

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Main Headlines

Why public health measures to stem COVID-19 are the most ethical thing to do

Overloading health systems and making doctors decide who lives and who dies in a pandemic is fundamentally unfair, say U of A experts

The speed at which people got sick with COVID-19 and overwhelmed unprepared medical systems in Spain and Italy left physicians with the impossible and unfair task of deciding who lives and who dies.

The dire warnings of this medical collapse hit North America before the virus had really taken hold, giving the health-care system a chance to shore up equipment and hospital beds, and medical ethicists, like Michael van Manen, the opportunity to revisit how the pandemic influences policy on medical equipment shortages.

In the end, there is nothing really ethical about taking a resource away from one patient to give it to another. We have ethical responsibilities to all of our patients.

 Michael van Manen, Endowed Chair in Health Ethics and director of the John Dossetor Health Ethics Centre at the University of Alberta. 

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Canada’s pandemic record is good, but we failed when it came to protecting seniors homes Globe and Mail THE EDITORIAL BOARD May 19 2020

The COVID-19 pandemic has revealed two different Canadas: one that has done better than many other countries at limiting the spread of the coronavirus in the general population; and another that allowed its seniors facilities to become killing fields.

This disparity was made plain last week when the National Institute on Ageing (NIA), a Toronto-based think tank, said that 82 per cent of the COVID-19-related deaths in Canada involved residents of nursing homes and seniors residences.

But no one realized that two entirely different pandemics were occurring simultaneously in this country.

One, in Canada’s general population, can be qualified as a modest success story.

On May 6, the national death toll from COVID-19 was 4,167. Of those deaths, according to the NIA, 3,436 involved seniors in homes, plus six staff members.

That means there had been only 725 deaths in the general population. This is almost entirely because Ottawa and the provinces put the country on lockdown relatively early in the pandemic.

But while Canada ranks among those countries that have done a decent job of suppressing the infection curve in the general population, it is doing far worse than other nations when it comes to protecting those in seniors facilities.

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