In his March 2023 report, Ontario Patient Ombudsman Craig Thompson warned not to expect improvements in the long-term care sector as the COVID-19 pandemic remains a factor ‘exposing and aggravating long-standing stresses on our health care system’. Two days later, the Financial Accountability Office of Ontario had a warning of its own, that health care challenges are expected to persist for years due to health care system underfunding.
Understandably, lack of access to care and inadequate staffing in Ontario health institutions will continue to have a
direct impact on the quality and level of care patients can expect in hospitals, and most likely an even greater impact in long-term care facilities, where systemic neglect has been ignored for decades.
The reality though, is that in some situations, the admission of a loved one in a long-term care facility might be the
only viable option for a family in crisis. If so, the best plan to guarantee a loved one’s safety – and basic care in a facility – is to hire a private personal support worker, or a nurse.
If hiring private care is not feasible, then caregivers could opt for the installation of a video camera in a loved one’s room immediately at the time of admission to a facility.
One last helpful tip: visit your institutionalized loved one as often as you can.
Lise Cloutier Steele
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