The family of Doreen Gauvreau, 81, confirmed that they lost their battle against COVID-19 on Monday morning. Her husband, Sylvio, had also already tested positive but is still fighting.
It is also a devastating loss to the senior community and the staff who care for them.
Jessica Saunders’ mom works at home. She said the severity of the losses weighed on them.
Families Call For More Staff Amid 4 Additional Deaths At McKenzie Towne Nursing Home
Families Request More Support From McKenzie Towne Care Center Staff In Calgary Amid More COVID-19 Deaths
“It’s really moving. They love their residents and go through something like that, it’s heartbreaking, but they pull themselves together, “said Saunders. “The province also needs to pull itself together, it needs as much support as possible.”
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Up to now, one fifth of the staff at the health center are at home ill, isolated after a positive test for COVID-19. CUPE, the union representing 160 workers at the southeast facility, said they are dangerously understaffed. CUPE Alberta President Rory Gill said staff work under very difficult circumstances.
“I have no words to express my gratitude for their bravery and the bravery of the people who live there,” said Gill. “They are in a terrible situation that I think none of us can imagine. We have asked the government to look at this sector very carefully and understand what is going on in long term care, they should be economically safe. “
AHS must balance staffing and limit exposure to COVID-19 in continuing care homes
Provincial health officials say no option is excluded. Tom McMillan, communications spokesperson with Alberta Health, said officials are monitoring the situation closely.
“Dr. Hinshaw has said that his greatest concern is for the health and safety of people in continuing care and other gathering settings,” said McMillan. ” We take this very seriously, which is why we have put in place mandatory measures to protect residents. “
In accordance with the strict epidemic guidelines announced last week, as soon as a single case is confirmed in an establishment, all staff are immediately prohibited from working on any other site. McKenzie Towne staff had already followed this order.
Nursing homes across Canada are concerned that a coronavirus epidemic may cause residents to “die alone”
” Dr. Hinshaw said placing additional limits on staff travel is an option being considered. As part of this work, we are examining the financial or other support that would be required from AHS and Health if such measures were taken, “said McMillan.
Lori Sigurdson, NDP seniors critic, said efforts were insufficient.
“We know that staff work on two positions and do their best, but they need more staff and we need a province-wide strategy,” said Sigurdson.
“All seniors need the support of this government and they are not getting it yet. We are asking for a 20% increase in funding for all seniors’ housing above their current budget. “
Revera, the management company of McKenzie Towne, said that the officials were still looking to hire. Dr. Rhonda Collins, chief medical officer of Revera said they added to the workforce.
“Revera regional and national recruiting teams have contributed to the COVID-19 response by adding 20 new members of the Calgary community to the McKenzie Towne team in the past week alone, including nurses, aides caregivers and culinary, recreational, housekeeping and administrative services. personal, “said Dr. Collins. “Alberta health services continue to support McKenzie Towne with significant nursing resources and clinical expertise.”
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