On this page:
- Long-term care reports
- Letter to the Ontario government
- Facebook support group
- Resources in response to COVID-19 emerging issues
- Resuming visits to long-term care
Long-Term Care COVID-19 Commission report receives thumbs up from RNAO; Will government act?
The Ontario government owes an apology to the families of the 3,758 LTC residents lost to COVID-19 and to the staff that valiantly cared for them under deplorable conditions – including 11 who lost their own lives in the line of duty.
Residents of LTC homes deserve the dignity of safe and quality care. The recommendations released by the Long-Term Care COVID-19 Commission provide pointed directions for the government to meet its obligations. Nurses call on the government to enshrine in legislation and immediately implement the urgent staffing and skill mix recommendations; Infection Prevention and Control imperatives, and the needs of residents and their essential care partners.
Ontario’s Long-Term Care Homes: IPAC Human Resources Survey Report
On Wednesday Nov. 25, 2020 at 3:00 p.m., RNAO issued an online survey to directors of care (DOC) and assistant directors of care (ADOC) in all 626 LTC homes in Ontario to obtain information about IPAC to accurately inform the IPAC needs in LTC. In conducting this survey, RNAO’s goal is twofold: to ensure LTC homes and their staff can deliver the care residents need and deserve during and after this difficult pandemic; and to prevent further devastating outcomes for residents and staff in Ontario’s LTC homes.
The survey results show concerning information related to: the amount of time and resources devoted to IPAC in LTC homes; role clarity for the IPAC staff; level of preparation of the IPAC staff, including resources within and external to LTC homes; and the lack of standards related to IPAC programs and resources. Overall, IPAC in LTC homes is not given the profile and resources it must have for ensuring safe IPAC practices.
A message for Canada’s First Ministers: RNAO says national standards in long-term care urgently needed
We applaud the federal government for committing, in its September Speech from the Throne, to establish national standards for long-term care (LTC). There is no time to lose. As we face a resurgence of COVID-19 across Canada, RNAO calls upon the federal government to act now on its commitment. National standards for LTC are long overdue and seniors are paying with their lives.
Reuniting family with their loved ones in long-term care homes during COVID-19
RNAO actively calls on the Ontario government to reunite residents in long-term care (LTC) homes with their loved ones. This statement reflects the urgent need for action in all LTC homes, including those in COVID-19 outbreak. This call is guided by the need of residents and their loved ones to access the foundational person- and family-centred care that is vital to their quality of life.
Family caregivers augment the care provided by staff, and in fact assist with up to 30 per cent of this care. We believe they must be seen as “essential visitors” as defined by the current health ministry directive, and recommend they are identified as Essential Family Care Partners (EFCP). Without the restrictions placed by COVID-19 directives, EFCPs are welcomed by the LTC home staff -- considered integral to the care team -- and contribute to person- and family-centred care.
Nursing Home Basic Care Guarantee
RNAO calls for a new era in LTC by guaranteeing the basic care needed, shoring up staffing levels for regulated and personal support staff, and adjusting the staff mix, so residents in nursing homes can count on consistent, safe and quality care.
The Nursing Home Basic Care Guarantee is for a staffing formula that provides no less than four hours of direct nursing and personal care per resident, per day. The formula also calls to ensure the proper skill mix by allocating a minimum of 0.8 hours (48 minutes) of RN care per resident, per day, 1.0 hours (60 minutes) of RPN care, and 2.2 hours of PSW care (132 minutes). Such an allocation would provide each resident with safe care and quality of life.
Long-Term Care Systemic Failings: Two Decades of Staffing and Funding Recommendations
RNAO identified 35 reports available online related to staffing and funding models in long-term
care, from 1999 to 2020. This list is not exhaustive, however reflects the consistent demand for
attention to staffing numbers, staff mix and professional practice along with funding support to
ensure safe, competent, evidence-based person-centred care.
On Feb. 3, 2021, RNAO sent a letter to the premier and minister of long-term care regarding concerns about the Jan. 8, 2021 directives, including "third party oversight" and rapid antigen testing.
RNAO and AdvantAge Ontario recognize the profound impact social distancing is having on families and friends with loved ones living in long-term care (LTC) homes. Given current visiting restrictions, we've set up a Facebook group to provide a forum for people to share stories and get support from others experiencing a similar situation.
RNAO is listening, anticipating and responding to the needs of the long-term care sector during this unprecedented time. All of the resources below are available to anyone who may find them helpful in the fight against COVID-19, but have been identified as needs from those working in long-term care.
- Suggestions and Strategies for Isolating Residents in Long-Term Care
- Palliative Care Delivery in Long-Term Care during the COVID-19 pandemic
- Mental Health and Well Being: Resources for Psychosocial Support during the COVID-19 Pandemic
- Possible COVID-19 Symptoms to Report
- What to do if your resident is short of breath and you suspect COVID-19
- Summary of Infection Prevention and Control (IPAC) Education and Resources for Long-Term Care
We are committed to supporting you during this difficult time of COVID-19. With the recent ministry announcement and direction regarding both outdoor and indoor visits in LTC homes, our team of LTC Best Practice Coordinators have revised several resources that you may find helpful. We recognize that you may already have outdoor visits in place, but these resources may assist your home now that indoor visits have been announced by the Ministry of Health.
- Decision tree for LTC visits
- Preparing for re-opening of LTC homes to visitors
- Visiting your loved one in the time of COVID-19
Long-term care nurse practitioner COVID-19 webinars
In an effort to support NPs (members & non-members) working in long-term care through the COVID-19 pandemic, RNAO is facilitating semi-weekly meetings to discuss clinical and other issues so colleagues can exchange best practices through rapid learning to tackle their situations and support one another. NPs working in LTC are encouraged to join these monthly meetings.
Greenwood Court: lessons learned from a COVID-19 outbreak
Webinar presentation slides: Lessons learned through a COVID-19 outbreak
LTC-BPSO Cohort G #Cheer4HealthWorkers! #TogetherWeCanDoIt
At our first virtual long-term care (LTC) best practice spotlight organization (BPSO) Cohort G Program Launch on May 25, 2020, we cheered for health workers as part of our #Cheer4HealthWorkers #TogetherWeCanDoIt campaign.