As headlines about Canada’s long-term care sector rip through cyberspace, there are women and men in Nova Scotia’s nursing homes and community-based residential care facilities who are quietly caring for our loved ones in these uncertain times. Their dedication to their residents and families is largely unsung in the best of times. It’s time for that to change.
In the face of the deadly COVID-19 there are nurses, continuing care assistants, recreation staff, housekeeping, nutrition, maintenance, administrators, therapists, and so many more pulling together to create a safe and nurturing space for their residents. They are diligently following public health guidelines – isolating, cleaning, and always vigilant watching for signs or symptoms of COVID-19 with residents and staff.
They are using technology to offer ways for residents to communicate with their families amid province-wide lockdowns. Understanding the connection between isolation and depression, they are working hard to keep their residents active and engaged, holding off the fear of a world-wide pandemic.
Behind the scenes, these workers are toileting, bathing, feeding, preparing meals, cleaning, lifting and responding to the needs of their residents. They are working in residential care facilities, small option and group homes and independent living support programs. They are helping people with disabilities. They do this for our loved ones.
Much has been studied and written about the state of Canada’s care of its most vulnerable citizens. We’ve heard the recommendations: more and better paid staff, adequate housing, better access to equipment and technology. But at the end of the day we’re human and what we really want is to be recognized and respected for the work we do and the care we give.
While Nova Scotia’s continuing care sector waits anxiously for protective equipment and supplies and hopes for some additional compensation for leaving their families to care for ours, let’s take the time to say thank you. They need to hear from you right now.
Sheila Peck, President, Continuing Care Association of Nova Scotia