Currently Browsing: Media Reports

Thank you for being a friend … Meet a new generation of golden girls

Tracy Hanes, Freelance Real Estate Writer, The Toronto Star

Meet Louise Bardswich, Martha Casson, Bev Brown and Sandy McCully, aged 65 to 71, who share ownership of a 3,400-square-foot home in Port Perry, where they all live. While the women are still active and independent, they didn’t like the housing choices available to them as they thought about growing older. “My mother was in a retirement home and Martha bought a house with her mother so she could take care of her,” says Bardswich, who, like Casson, is a retired college administrator (Brown and McCully are retired nurses). “But those options didn’t appeal to us.” They didn’t want to impose on their children, they didn’t like the steep cost of retirement-home living, or the idea of living alone in a condo apartment. Bardswich and Casson heard about co-ownership, a common concept in the UK, and felt it could be a fit in Ontario.

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Woodstock deaths shed light on little-noticed work of caregivers

Erin Anderssen, The Globe and Mail

Article was first published on October 27, 2016

Economists have, traditionally, paid little attention to women such as Shireen Luchuk. A health-care assistant in a Vancouver long-term care residence, she trades in diapers and puréed food for those members of society no longer contributing to the GDP. She produces care, a good that’s hard to measure on a ledger … But let’s not be too hard on those economists. The rest of us don’t pay that much attention to workers like Shireen Luchuk either – not, at least, until our families need her. And not until someone like Elizabeth Tracey Mae Wettlaufer is charged with murdering eight residents in an Ontario nursing home. Then we have lots of questions: Who is overseeing the care of our seniors? Are our mothers and fathers safe? Will we be safe, when we end up there?

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Counting sexual assaults in Ontario nursing homes

W5 program was first aired in April 2016 and rebroadcast on January 7, 2017

Steve Bandera, W5 Associate Producer

While researching “In the dark” the CTV’s W5 tried to ascertain the number of sexual assaults reported in Ontario’s nursing homes in a given year. The Ministry of Health and Long-term Care reported 1,967 “suspected or actual incidents of resident-to-resident abuse “ in 2014. But the ministry does not break down that number according to various abuse categories (emotional, physical, sexual and verbal). “All incidents are triaged based on the individual circumstances of the case,” a ministry spokesperson explained in an e-mail. After learning that no provincial statistics are kept on sexual abuse in Ontario’s nursing homes, W5 decided to compile one of its own. Using Ontario’s online inspection reports on long-term care homes, W5 downloaded all the reports for the homes included on the web site for 2014, the last full year available. Of the 650 homes listed, 35 did not have any inspection reports available for 2014. Six hundred and fifteen homes yielded 2,637 inspection reports. W5 converted all of them to searchable text and found some mention of “sex” in 45 homes. Upon further examination, W5 discovered 103 reported incidents of sexual assault in 37 Ontario nursing homes. That number may be higher, because some reports do not divulge the precise number of incidents. Under Ontario regulations, nursing homes are required to notify the police whenever an incident of suspected sexual abuse is reported. Reports for only 12 of these 37 homes mention police at all, most often in the context of failing to inform police in a timely manner.

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Omagh care home: Elderly man tied to chair in “torture” ordeal

Marie-Louise Connolly, BBC News

The family of an 86-year-old man who was tied to a chair in a care home have described his ordeal as “torture”. Seamus Gormley became a resident of Drumragh Care Home, Omagh, in 2014 following health complications. In November, a care assistant who was employed at the care home was found guilty of assault. The home has since closed. The former owners of the care home said they co-operated fully with the investigation. In July 2015, Mr. Gormley, who has dementia, was tied to a chair with a belt by the care assistant. His family were informed three days after the incident. They found their father’s arms covered in bruises. Speaking with the BBC, his daughter Eilish McCullagh said her father, who had been a keen joiner and enjoyed 61 years of marriage, became nervous and withdrawn after the incident.

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Ontario home care nurse writes about her frustration from the frontlines

Christina Blizzard, Queen’s Park Columnist, The Toronto Sun

After I reported on auditor general Bonnie Lysyk’s recent scathing report on mismanagement in the health-care system, I received this heartfelt e-mail from a nurse whose name I’ve withheld. “I have been a nurse for almost 27 years, employed primarily in home care. The changes I’ve observed over the years make me shake my head. I used to LOVE my job. Every day I woke up thrilled to go to work but now, I dread it. I still enjoy the one-on-one interaction with my patients but the cuts have been severe and I’ve had to limit the amount of time and help I devote to my patients, and that goes against every reason why I became a nurse. The sad part is that these issues all started when our government allowed for-profit companies to bid on homecare contracts with the Community Care Access Centre (CCAC). That was the worst decision they could have ever made. I didn’t have such issues when I worked for VON (Victoria Order of Nurses). The VON had been operating as a non-profit for over 100 years when this happened and somehow they lost out to numerous for-profit health agencies. Now the heads of those for-profits are making huge profits from ill Canadians. That’s not the way our healthcare system should operate! I’m sure Tommy Douglas is rolling over in his grave as this is not what he envisioned for universal health care in Canada. Patients are not put first, profits are.”

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