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LETTER: Care standards needed to help seniors

Residents and staff at seniors care facilities facing challenges during COVID-19 pandemic

Dear Editor:

Like most British Columbians, I watch the news each day, hoping for some signs of improvement in the COVID-19 pandemic.

I am particularly concerned for the residents and staff in long term care facilities.

I am a retired nurse and worked many years in this area. I can well imagine the chaos, fear and anxiety they must be experiencing at this time, considering their staffing levels and resources.

READ ALSO: COVID-19: Stabilizing B.C. care home staffing to cost $10 million a month

READ ALSO: COVID-19 adds to burden of caring for B.C. seniors at home

Practicing the recommended safety standards at this time must be difficult.

Social distancing is near impossible to implement when some residents are cognitively impaired and have difficulties with comprehension and memory. Giving care require close contact to residents by staff.

Staffing levels are inadequate to meet residents’ needs.

Protective equipment may not be available. Hand washing stations are not always conveniently located.

Some staff have had little or no training in disease transmission.

Long term care facilities were never designed to accommodate acutely ill residents. They should have the same access to hospital as any citizen.

To say, “but this is their home,” is irresponsible and does not show an understanding of the situation.

Hopefully, this experience will prompt a full investigation in these facilities and will create care standards which are enforced, which we once had in this province.

Joyce Husch

Summerland

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