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Menus and room service: How hospitals can transform patient experience (and save money), Meghan McGee

Small budgets, expensive suppliers, and a lack of management buy-in have given hospital food the well-deserved reputation of being tasteless, and well, gross. But a coalition of health leaders is spicing it up. Every day, a typical large hospital throws out more than one tonne of food, according to a 2014 report . In some Canadian hospitals, more than 50 per cent of the food served to patients ends up as food waste. One reason driving the deluge is the average daily food budget, which is less than $8 a patient — dollars that are stretched across three meals, two snacks, and beverages per patient, per day, to meet the Ministry of Health and Long-term Care guidelines . These tight budgets often drive health-care institutions towards cheap and highly-processed foods, resulting in tasteless, reheated meals that are left uneaten on the tray. Another reason for the waste stems from the fact that many hospitals and long-term care homes no longer prepare their own food, instead, buying from large suppliers and distributors. And while preparing food off-site allows for efficient, one-stop shopping, it also requires a two-day lead time — 48 hours during which a patient could be moved, discharged, or scheduled for a procedure that restricts eating, resulting in a wasted meal. A national coalition of healthcare and community leaders, including Food Secure Canada and Health Care Without Harm , hopes to change that. Companies like Montreal-based Nourish aim to transform the reheated, industrial food served to patients into climate-friendly, plant-rich and culturally diverse meals.

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Family of Nunavut elder in Ottawa long-term care faces $45K bill to bring him home

CBC News

Raymond Ningeocheak longs to eat seal meat again with his family in Coral Harbour, Nunavut – but the medevac flight alone to send the Inuk elder home from long-term care in Ottawa cost $45,000. Ningeocheak has spent the last year at the Embassy West senior living facility, where he is receiving care for dementia. His daughter, Sarah Netser, said Ningeocheak’s health has been declining rapidly. He was also one of the eight elders at the facility to get COVID-19 recently, though he has since recovered. “He told me he’s so sick of being there,” Netser said. “He would rather be with family.”

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

Calgary Herald opinion columnist Trina Thorne, nurse practitioner working in long-term care

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 January 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.

‘They’re not allowed to have showers’: What it’s like to live in a long-term care home

Caryn Ceolin, CityNews, Toronto, Ontario

Imagine going almost a month without a shower. That’s the reality for many long-term care residents, with just over have of Ontario’s nursing homes fighting active coronavirus cases and struggling to deal with the pressure of overburdened staff. Helen DaSilva is the essential caregiver for her 83-year-old mother in LTC. DaSilva told CityNews staffing is so short at her mother’s facility due to illness, public health guidelines have confined residents to their rooms for weeks and even minimal care, in some cases, difficult.
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Sudbury woman calls for change in long-term care with new minister appointed

CBC News, Sudbury, Ontario

A Sudbury woman is calling on Ontario’s new minister of long-term care to make changes in that sector. Monique Mussar is the caregiver for three family members in two long-term care facilities in Sudbury. After hearing that former minister Rod Phillips was stepping down last week, Mussar said she had some ideas on how to choose his replacement. “For one moment, I wish I was the hiring manager for the new person,” she said. “I would like to see a minister of long-term care have hands-on experience with what the residents go through.”