Miriam Katawazi, CP24.com
Wednesday, April 22, 2020 at 2:41 p.m. EDT
Last updated Wednesday, April 22, 2020 8:38 PM EDT
A woman whose father died of the new coronavirus in Pickering, Ontario. The long-term care home says families have been left in the dark about 31 deaths, staff shortages and over 100 illnesses. Southbridge Care Homes told CTV News Toronto on Tuesday that its 233 retirement and long-term care beds at Orchard Villa are experiencing a massive COVID-19 epidemic and have asked local hospitals and the provincial government for help staff shortages. Durham Region announced Wednesday that it has now issued an emergency order shifting hospital resources to the long-term care home. But families with loved ones at home say they received very few updates on the entire ordeal and relied on media reports to understand the magnitude of the problem. Toronto area resident Cathy Parkes said she lost her father, Paul Parkes, to illness last week, despite being told by the house that he was fine. “If it weren't for personal support workers and staff nurses, I wouldn't have any real information about my father. Not only were they the ones who put their lives on the line, but they were the only ones who told me how he really did ... when I spoke to the administration, it always withheld information, "she told CTV on Wednesday. News. "I trusted the people who take care of my father ... I couldn't go in and I couldn't see him, so I had to take my word for it and I'm sorry." She said that the administration kept telling her that he was fine and that he was eating well and that his temperature was mostly stable, but on the phone his father was no longer able to communicate with him. she. "I had to demand that it be stamped," she said. "I said," What you tell me doesn't match the father. "" Afraid and anxious, she managed to find a front-line staff member and arrange a meeting with her father the day before he died. "She raised her bed, opened the curtain ... put the phone within reach, but he couldn't hold the phone, he couldn't open his eyes, he couldn't answer or speak." She said that she asked the staff to give him oxygen to help him breathe, but they said he was unqualified. "He had no chance to fight," she said. On April 15, she said that she received the call that her father had died. They asked her when she would be ready to remove her body and pick up her things. Parkes said she now speaks out of concern for other residents and staff. She said she heard workers talk about the staff shortage and the lack of personal protective equipment. A spokesman for Southbridge Care Homes told CTV News Toronto on Tuesday that 98 residents and 24 staff members tested positive for the disease in Orchard Villa long-term care home and 17 residents and 6 staff members were tested positive in the retirement homes section of the residence. . "The people Daddy ate with, I saw one of them was gone, my mom had a friend in there ... she also died," said Parkes. "I go to the funeral site and I see all these faces that I know and it's heartbreaking because I know it's not me. My father never wanted to see something like that on the left. He has always encouraged us to use our voices to speak if we see things wrong. " "It would be easy to lock myself in a mourning bubble but I can't because daddy wouldn't want that. I felt it was necessary to say something to the people who are still there ... they need to know what is going on. " Other families speak out Toronto resident Sandy Brown said she was very concerned about the support for her 91-year-old mother who lives in the long-term care home and tested positive for the disease. "I'm really very sad because we don't have enough staff here to take care of people. The staff are overworked and I don't even know how they are doing on a daily basis, "she told CTV News Toronto on Wednesday. "It's terrible. I can see my mom [though a window] and she needs a drink [but] I cannot reach the cup and it is three feet away. I can't find his glasses… missing for ten days. " "It's really really horrible, I can't hug her." She said she called officials from across the province to tell them about the staff shortage. "It's not an ordinary day and they don't even have a minimum [levels of] personal, ”she said. "We have people who die, people who are very sick from COVID-19, employees who are afraid for their lives." CTV News Toronto contacted the long-term care home regarding comments from the families, but the agency said it was unable to comment. Toronto area resident Shawn Fidler, whose mother lives in Orchard Villa, said he hadn't heard of the 31 deaths or the total number of cases at home until the friend of his sister hears him on the news. "The concern is about the lack of communication about what's really going on in this building," Fidler told CTV News Toronto Wednesday morning. “There are more than 100 cases. It’s a lot for their staff, and the big fear for us is that we don’t know what kind of help or support they are getting. " He said that last weekend he was told that there had only been two deaths and that he was therefore confused as to the timing of when the 31 deaths occurred. "We need answers about what's going on," he said. A woman named Shirley, who didn't want her last name published, told CTV News Toronto that her 89-year-old father, living with Alzheimer's disease, lived on the retirement side of Orchard Villa . She said he tested positive for the virus last week and found out last night that he hadn't had dinner that day until 7:40 p.m. "He is a COVID positive person who is supposed to be getting his nutrition and something to drink ... apparently he has been forgotten," she said. "It just kills me inside." It's not just him. You come here and you see people leaving in small vans and we were never told the numbers, we were never given this letter that there were 31 dead. " "They don't tell us the information and that's what really bothers me. You can't blame the workers who can't get to the cleanup. They are so short of staff, they are positive, they are the real heroes, they are always in there. " Duhram Region Orders Hospital Aid In the new order, Durham Regional Medical Officer of Health Dr. Robert Kyle asked Lakeridge Health, a Durham Region hospital, to support and direct the long-term care home to monitor, investigate and respond to the epidemic, as well as to provide care to residents. "We recognize that this is a very tragic, difficult and stressful time for residents and their families, as well as for the staff at Orchard Villa, and we know that the staff are truly concerned with safety and security. well-being of all residents of this home, "Dr. Kyle said Wednesday in a press release. "The health unit and Lakeridge Health will work closely with Orchard Villa to provide the supports necessary to help reduce or eliminate the health risks associated with the current COVID-19 epidemic." Parkes, who lost his father to COVID-19 at home, said the order gives him hope. "It gives me hope ... I would not do that if I were not worried about those who are still in this house and it gives me hope. It is a step in the right direction. " The region has directed the long-term care home, with the help of hospital resources, to actively screen residents, staff and visitors and to conduct active and ongoing surveillance of all residents. He also requested continuous monitoring of the delivery of clinical care and demanded the screening of new admissions, as well as the management of essential visitors. He also ordered the collection of samples and tests for the management of epidemics and "the adoption and implementation of infection, prevention and control". The region said infection, prevention and control and Lakeridge Health's clinical teams will work with Orchard Villa to assess the situation at home. "Lakeridge Health's infection prevention and control experts and clinical teams, who have significant experience in treating patients with COVID, will immediately travel to Orchard Villa," said Susan deRyk, Acting President and CEO, Lakeridge Health. "Today we will investigate the current state of the epidemic and develop an operational plan to provide care and treatment to support the best outcomes for residents." The long-term care home said all of its residents in the home have now been tested and more results are expected over the next five days from Durham Public Health. “These unprecedented times have created unprecedented challenges. We contacted Lakeridge Health for assistance and are grateful to have answered our call, "said Ryan Bell, CEO of Southbridge Care Homes, in a statement. “Our goal is to provide the best possible care and ensure the safety of our residents. We appreciate the help of our health care partners. "