Efforts to protect seniors


April 2, we achieved an important breakthrough in our effort to protect residents and staff in nursing homes, residential homes and other institutions for seniors. Ontario Health Toronto is recommending that long-term and continuing care homes in the Toronto Region follow a policy of Pandemic Universal Masking for healthcare workers providing routine resident care (see here). Two procedure masks per day will be provided for all healthcare workers that interact with residents, or entering resident areas for any reason, only if the home’s PPE supply allows. RNAO has been pushing for this measure for at least two weeks, with the intent of preventing outbreaks of COVID-19 in nursing homes. Unfortunately, at last count, today, RNAO is aware of 79 outbreaks in nursing homes and retirement homes, with at least 40 residents who have tragically died. RNAO hopes that this universal masking measure will be expanded immediately to other regions in Ontario, as each day that staff work unmasked is a day when the spread of the virus continues rampant.

Sending Love and Comfort: RNAO sends love and deep condolences to the families and staff who have lost residents to the ravages of COVID-19. We embrace in comfort all of you, and especially Pinecrest Nursing Home in Bobcaygeon residents and families for your unimaginable suffering and to the staff for your courageous caring at this time of great distress. May the lives lost rest in peace.

Supporting and protecting older people is everyone’s business: although all age groups are at risk of contracting COVID-19, older people face significant risk of developing severe illness. Read the statement by Dr Hans Henri P. Kluge, WHO Regional Director for Europe here.