SENIORCENTRIC Jan 29, 2021

Scanning the globe for news by, for and about Senior Citizens

Quotables:

From the beginning, I believed that if we did our job right and from the heart, prepared the ground and set the right tone, people would reveal their higher selves and create something amazing,” 

Michael Lang, co-creator of Woodstock, dies at 77
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Peter Tatchell on his life-long fight for gay rights

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Fundraiser, 83, buys then delivers ambulances across Europe

The 86-year-old runner who refuses to slow down

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What will it take to change long-term care in Canada?

The global pandemic marked Canada as an outlier in one significant, tragic way. While seniors in most countries were hit hard, in Canada, a whopping 81 per cent of all deaths in the initial months of the pandemic happened in long-term care, compared to a mean of 42 per cent in other OECD countries. A more recent, independent assessment has found that of Canada’s 30,420 deaths from COVID-19, 18,800 deaths have occurred in 1871 residential facilities (as of Jan. 9, 2022).

Why were seniors in Canada’s long-term care facilities so hard hit compared to elsewhere?

Poor pandemic preparedness, lower daily care hours for residents, poor funding and resources, inconsistent inspections and inadequate integration of health and hospital services are among many factors at play. Most of these problems long predate the pandemic. Governments at all levels have known about the problems in long-term care for decades and have done little to address them.

In a recent study published in F1000 Research , along with our colleagues, we identify more than 80 reports from governments, unions, non-profit organizations and professional societies commissioned to examine the state of long-term care in Canada from 1998 to 2020. The reports range from a few pages to almost 1,500 pages; most identify the same basic problems and repeat the same basic recommendations.

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Proposed new post-pandemic standards for long-term care being released today

New draft standards introduced as hundreds of long-term care homes face new COVID outbreaks.

As hundreds of long-term care homes across the country grapple with new outbreaks of COVID-19, highly-anticipated draft national standards for these facilities are being released today.

The pandemic exposed fatal weaknesses in Canada’s long-term care sector. In the first few months of the pandemic, more than 80 per cent of Canada’s known COVID-19 deaths happened in long-term care and retirement homes — the highest such rate among nations in the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).

“I’m hoping. My God, I’m hoping that this will be a clear blueprint that really can enable provincial and territorial and federal action to move long-term care to where all Canadians are demanding it to go,” said Dr. Samir Sinha, director of geriatrics at Sinai Health and the University Health Network in Toronto.

Sinha chaired the Health Standards Organization technical committee that drafted the proposed standards. The HSO is an independent, not-for-profit organization that develops standards and assessment programs for the health and social services sectors.

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