We hope this newsletter finds everyone well and safe in this time of Covid 19 social isolation. Our world has been turned upside down over the past few months. The plight of some residential care homes in our country have been thrust into the forefront of everyone’s mind. We have all seen and heard the shocking horror stories happening in these places to these vulnerable seniors.
British Columbia and especially the Comox Valley have been leaders in the fight to halt or slow down the incidences of infection from this deadly virus. Before any other residential care homes were doing this the Comox Valley residential care homes had stopped staff working in more than one facility at a time to restrict contact and contamination. Other care homes followed suit with the hope that this would minimize the virus in other places. We know that having people living in such close quarters so many together is a perfect storm for infectious diseases to occur.
The government stepped in and raised the salaries of care workers so they are all now earning the same amount and this is what should have been happening all along. We need to fight for this step to be continued after this pandemic is over. We owe our frontline workers a living salary without having to work at multiple care homes to make a decent living. This will also keep our residents in care homes safer from infectious diseases in the future.
The government has promised that running of residential care homes will be looked at for change after this pandemic is over. We need to continue to let the government know that we are watching and will only be satisfied once they get rid of for-profit care homes. We have all had enough and this cannot go on where profit for the owners is made by reducing care hours, money that they are given for care by tax payers. BC’s Senior Advocate Isobel MacKenzie’s report A Billion Reasons to Care that came out in February 2020 was very clear on what was happening. We know the statistics say that 80% of seniors in care have some level of dementia and many of them do not have an advocate to watch out for their wellbeing. WE must be their advocate and continue to pressure the government to make these homes a place any of us would be happy to live in, because quite frankly, it could be any one of us in the future.
We would appreciate it if you would consider signing one or all of the following petitions and share with your friends and family. We need to organize to fix this situation.
All Seniors Should Have Access to Quality Care (Canadian Health Coalition)
Support Our Elderly (Council of Canadians)
And we end this newsletter with a very few links from the wide range of media coverage the issue of seniors’ care has seen in these Covid times.
Stay Calm, Be Kind, Stay Safe.