Peggy Sattler MPP, London West

Government of Ontario

Family caregivers deserve better long-term care guidelines

Published on July 8, 2020

QUEEN'S PARK -- "COVID-19 has exposed long-standing systemic problems in Ontario’s long-term care homes, including the deep reliance on family caregivers to meet residents’ needs. The visitation restrictions have been incredibly difficult for anxious family members and often detrimental to the health of their loved ones.

The lifting of the restrictions, however, has raised other concerns among London West constituents. Ann Bigelow wrote that the requirement for a clean COVID test in the last two weeks 'is just ridiculous. If I have no symptoms, the test won’t say I have the virus and I could just pick it up the next day.'

Tammy Goddard told me her parents were effectively imprisoned since mid-March in their room in a retirement home, but 'we can now take them out, bring them back within 12 hours and who knows where we may take them or if I or anyone that sees them wears their mask.'

Long-term-care home resident Nancy, who hasn’t seen her family since March 7, said, 'I feel that being 88 years old does not give me too much longer to enjoy my family. I’m afraid they will hold off on in-home visits until all the homes are out of quarantine, which seems very unfair. In this weather, I can’t go outside because of a bad heart.'

Speaker, family caregivers deserve visitation guidelines that keep their loved ones safe, but that also recognize the essential contribution caregivers make to resident health and well-being."