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“This pandemic has scarred all of us. This is burned into our memories now, so planning for the future becomes even more important,” said VanderBent.
“People will demand that they have the supports to stay at home and receive care at home and end their life at home, because it’s just too scary now.”
The tragedy unfolding in long-term care homes across the country has shed new light on persistent problems in the elder-care system. Residents of these facilities account for 10 per cent of COVID-19 cases and 72 per cent of deaths in Canada.
But a major piece of the system is home care and it is often ignored, said VanderBent, whose organization represents home care providers in Ontario.
“We’re probably the same as any other province in that the home care system itself is generally an afterthought. It is not generally funded in a way that contributes to a robust system.”
Ontario has a roughly $63-billion health-care budget, of which about $3 billion is spent on home care, she said.
The lack of funding means that home care workers make about $4 less an hour than those who work in long-term care, making it hard to retain staff, VanderBent said.
— The Canadian Press
Fraser Health has declared four new COVID-19 outbreaks, including at the North Fraser Pretrial Centre, where 20 people in custody have tested positive.
There are also new outbreaks at a unit in Royal Columbian Hospital in New Westminster, the rehab unit at Queen’s Park Care Centre, also in New West, and the Good Samaritan Delta View Care Centre.