The decision to give The Ottawa Hospital oversight of two Ottawa long-term care homes is being praised by some connected to the homes — but there are also questions about why it didn’t happen sooner.
On Friday, Ontario’s Ministry of Long-Term care announced that voluntary agreements had been signed with home operator Extendicare to help with the COVID-19 outbreaks at the West End Villa and Laurier Manor.
As of Saturday, there had been 85 confirmed cases of COVID-19 at West End Villa since Aug. 30, with 11 deaths.
Laurier Manor only has had 19 confirmed cases, but the home was hit hard in the spring, with more than 100 cases and 25 deaths.
“It’s about time that there was some kind of action,” said Melissa Acheson, whose long-time partner, Shawn Hill, has been living at West End Villa after suffering a traumatic brain injury in 2018.
Hill was diagnosed with COVID-19 on Sept. 14, Acheson said, and so far only has mild symptoms.
Patients confined to rooms
In an email, a ministry spokesperson told CBC that The Ottawa Hospital would “manage resident care in both homes” in response to the outbreaks for at least 90 days — and possibly longer.
Acheson said Hill had been confined to his room for the past 27 days, without a proper shower — and that has her worried his condition could deteriorate.
“It’s just awful to think about being alone and confined to your room for that long for anybody. Like, just terrible,” she said.
“When he is able to be around people, they can kind of bring him back into the present and remind him of where he is and how he got there and what’s happening.”
Union on board
Acheson said she hopes the current situation sparks changes to long-term care in